The proposed redevelopment project plan of the ex-Reef Hotel submitted to the Seychelles Investment Board is still in the assessment, study and consultation process stage and no decision has been finalised yet, Minister Flavien Joubert has informed National Assembly members.
The Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment said this on Tuesday when answering a question by the MNA for Au Cap, Kelly Samynadin, who wanted to know the ministry’s position on the proposed project.
Minister Joubert also informed Assembly members that his ministry has already received more than 150 comment forms and this is the largest number collected in the process for such a project.
“The majority of concerns raised are related to the reclamation added to the proposed development,” Mr Joubert remarked.
He noted that the role of his ministry in the process is to ensure that all procedures are considered and adhered to and all environment and social aspects are duly followed through, that all studies are done properly so that the final deliberations will be true in deciding whether the project should be considered in its original proposal or in a revised format or be rejected.
“The process is not yet complete and the ministry is currently considering all the concerns received and giving ample time to the consultants to analyse all the information so they can come up with a final environment impact assessment report on the proposed project,” Minister Joubert said.
He said it is the same report which will later be available for public inspection and this would be before a final decision is made.
Meanwhile he said other related matters like the submission of the project designs to the planning authority will only be made possible after the completion of the EIA.
Minister Joubert further added that the reclamation component of the project should also be considered in the EIA.
Furthermore he noted that the private owner of the land has the right to propose a reclamation but only after a clear analysis has been completed.
Minister Joubert informed Assembly members that his ministry is considering all studies conducted in the area. A team of expert funded by the World Bank some 10 days ago presented a final report on erosion at different sites around the country including Au Cap and they have made recommendations on the different interventions that should be undertaken to reduce erosion.
“The ministry is reviewing the reef Hotel redevelopment project in relation to recommendations made in the WB report,” Minister Joubert stated while noting that the report will be made available to the project developers and the public.
Meanwhile Minister Joubert said the position of the ministry on the reclamation component will depend on all the above mentioned aspects to ensure that the final decision does justice to all who has an interest in the development.
It is to be recalled that a developer has bought the property where the ex-Reef Hotel is located and is planning to redevelop it into a new modern tourism establishment.
He noted that the previous government imposed a sanction on the sale transaction between Beachcomber and the new owner on a freehold basis. In 2018 the developer submitted a hotel development project of 150 rooms to the Seychelles Investment Board. The project also included a reclamation. A revised development plan was submitted to the SIB in 2020 and this time around for 200 rooms and this is the same plan which is being considered in the environment impact assessment and public consultations where those with any interests in the project or feel aggrieved by the proposed development could express their views.
Source: Seychelles Nation