THE HAGUE--A concrete request for the development of the former Bolivia Plantation in Bonaire for residential purposes, has not been filed at the public entity Bonaire.
Dutch State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops stated this on Tuesday in response to questions and remarks of the Democrats D66 and the Socialist Party (SP) in the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament.
Plantation Bolivia, which covers about 10 per cent of Bonaire’s total size, has been purchased by a Dutch developer who wants to construct some 1,500 homes in the area that has great ecological value in flora and fauna. D66 and SP are concerned because 3,000 hectares of unique and rare, dry tropical forest might be destroyed.
Knops explained that Plantation Bolivia “was and is” private property, and that he was aware of possible plans to develop the property. “The owner is said to have plans to develop the area in a sustainable manner and to realise a number of homes. The possible destruction of 3,000 hectares of rare, dry tropical forest is, as far as I know, not part of the plan for Bolivia.”
Bonaire’s Executive Council has informed the state secretary that so far, no concrete request for the development of Plantation Bolivia has been submitted. The local government also informed him that in the Bonaire Physical Development Plan, Bolivia is qualified as “open landscape” and that the unique caves on the property and other archaeological value aspects are subject to a specific protection regime.
“It is up to the public entity Bonaire to assess the project plan once it is formally submitted. The public entity will assess whether a [building – Ed.] permit can be issued or whether the plan fits in the physical development plan,” stated Knops.
The state secretary explained that it was up to the public entity Bonaire to make a decision about desirable developments in the island and that the physical development plan served to make sure that developments took place in the right manner. He acknowledged that it was “a challenge to find the right balance between development and preservation of the natural value that is present.”