St Helena Government is pleased to announce that approval has been given for SHELCO (St Helena Leisure Corporation Ltd) to proceed with their plans for the Wirebird Hills development at Broad Bottom. This follows a decision made by Governor in Council at Thursday’s Executive Council meeting and is another important step in securing St Helena’s future prosperity with the development of high-end tourism for the Island.
Wirebird Hills, Resort & Country Club will offer an eco-friendly tourism complex. The first phase will include an 18-hole eco golf course together with a boutique five star eco luxury hotel and country club offering 35 suites together with leisure facilities and a spa. This involves expanding the earlier proposed Golf Clubhouse to provide seven suites and the spa and a further seven hotel lodges, each with four suites. The current plan is to start on site as soon as finance is available on St Helena and there is proven regular air access. The development permission gives until 2020 at the very latest for this to happen.
Phase 2 will move forward as demand increases and phase 3 will include the Primary 70 Bedroom Hotel Complex and the remainder of the 165 Leisure Related Residences as well as a Lookout Interpretation Centre and Sebastapol Centre. The development will also include ancillary facilities such as staff accommodation and maintenance facilities – all built to equally high environmental standards.
The complex will place top priority on environmentally responsible design to make the development the ‘World’s Greenest Tourism Development’.
Chairman of SHELCO, Sir Nigel Thompson, said:
“We are delighted with the recent decision by Governor in Council to grant permission for our revised phasing of the Wirebird Hills Resort.
“We appreciate both the Government’s and the people of St Helena’s confidence in SHELCO’s role to assist in developing this new economy. Using the industry norms of 1.5 visitors per bedroom and an 80% occupancy rate, to allow for seasonal variations, St Helena will have to deliver over 200 bedrooms of reasonable quality in these early years. The revised planning consent for Wirebird Hills will enable us to play an important role in this, as a key part of the design is the flexibility to expand.
“We intend that the estate will be farmed in partnership with Saints to produce local food products. We hope this will provide an important contribution to St Helena’s eco credentials and build a reputation for fine dining.
“We will commence development of the resort in a programme that is complimentary to the Government’s latest plans to provide air access via the new Airport and we look forward to working in partnership with St Helena and are delighted to be a part of the Island’s progress.”
The Wirebird Hills development’s final planning approvals will be subject to meeting the highest environmental standards on the part of the developer, with the St Helena Government working closely with SHELCO to ensure that the standards are achieved.
Governor Lisa Phillips concluded:
“This is very exciting! The momentum on St Helena is building and the SHELCO decision is one in a number that indicates St Helena is putting in place all the components for a thriving tourism industry. It is right that we and SHELCO have taken our time. We want developments to be phased as our visitor numbers increase and the Island grows accustomed to the changes. I look forward to welcoming SHELCO to the Island.”
SHG & SHELCO
16 February 2017