August 30, 2006

The rock and a hard place

There's an interesting story in the Bermuda Sun today, predicting that a press conference tomorrow will announce that the Botanical Gardens will be filled with concrete for the new hospital.

Here's where the Government finds themselves stuck on a rock and hard place.

The PLP Government have a well deserved reputation for being big spenders and allowing the cost of capital projects to escalate out of control, as at the Berkeley school.

So with the new hospital they want to assure people that they will manage the development prudently. Therefore the economic decision is to build on the Botanical Gardens.

However, the Premier has been professing his visionary commitment to Sustainable Development at every turn, while preparing to mow down the Botanical Gardens and putting a massive and top secret housing project at Loughlands.

Either way they're going to take some well-deserved flack.

The idea of converting the old Hospital into a new section of the Botanical Gardens seems a reasonable compromise on the surface, but it isn't.

We're on a slippery slope when we start developing supposedly sacred parkland, and it's highly likely that (despite best intentions) the current hospital site will prove too enticing for another massive development and the Botanical Gardens will be lost forever.

If the Bermuda Sun is correct, Government have made the wrong decision, inevitable criticism aside.

Parks should be sacred. Otherwise what's the point? And let's stop wasting everyone's time with talk of sustainable development.

Posted by Christian S. Dunleavy