Needham’s Point potential
THERE IS A SCOPE for Needham’s Point to be further developed as a “key tourism and natural heritage site”.
However, an updated Bridgetown Community Plan for the area, which is home to Hilton Barbados Resort, says this must be done “in a manner which respects the character and function of other uses including Fort Anne, Needham’s Point Lighthouse, Barbados Light and Power facilities and the Military Cemetery”.
The 70-page plan said Needham’s Point now included large scale tourism and institutional uses including the Barbados Yacht Club, two major hotels (Radisson and Hilton), and the former oil refinery site which is vacant.
It was also “rich in heritage associated with the Garrison including Fort Charles (integrated with Hilton redevelopment), Needham’s Point Lighthouse, and the Military Cemetery.
In terms of future plans, the document released by the Town & Country Development Planning Office said “the former Mobil Oil site with frontage on Aquatic Gap and Drill Hall beach is a significant opportunity site”.
“Environmental remediation will be required for the site, and an environmental impact assessment will be required . . . . New development will ensure that public access to Drill Hall beach and Needham’s Point beach is preserved from both Aquatic Gap and Bay Street.”
“New development must respect the Military Cemetery. The relationship to Barbados Defence Force lands at the Garrison will be considered to ensure the Garrison can continue to function as the headquarters of the Barbados Defence Force.”
“The relationship to historic buildings in the Garrison, particularly St Anne’s Fort, West India Barracks, Iron Barracks, and Stone Barracks will be considered, including the view of these buildings from the Garrison and Bay Street. New development should not encroach on these views.”
The Hilton is the major presence at Needham’s Point. Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler announced during his May 30 Budget that Cabinet had agreed to the hotel’s sale and Government expected to receive $100 million from the transaction. (SC)