Battle continues on controversial coastal project

| 05/11/2014

(CNS): Residents in South Sound continue to press on with their battle to put a halt to a controversial development in the community that they say not only endagers the environment but sets an unwelcome precedent that could see the local coastline at significant risk from uncontrolled development. Concerns grew this week over what many see as far reaching and dangerous changes to the planning laws that make it more difficult for stakeholders to object to development in their neighbourhoods. Although current applications are being treated under the old law, it is not clear how the amendments will impact those who are objecting to the CPA’s decision to allow RC Holdings to dump fill some 50ft out into the ocean along 2,000ft stetch of coastline.

The Planning Appeal Tribunal heard an application last week from action group Protect South Sound for leave to amend the grounds of appeal and to add fresh evidence. A decision is expect at the end of November. The hearing comes two years after the appeal on the Central Planning Authority’s decision was delayed, first when the tribunal was disbanded in early 2013 because of the general election and there was another delay in reinstating the tribunal after the current administration took office.

CNS contacted Protect South Sound for comment on the latest development but a spokesperson said that they were unable to speak about the current issues. However, they are continuing to do what they can to save their community’s coastline.

The major concern of the group was that the decision by the CPA to allow the reclamation of land by the developer was based on a legal error. Former chief surveyor, Alister Ayres, has said at the time that the planning permission in this case was granted as a result of incorrect interpretation of the land survey regulations.

Photographs posted on CNS last November showing the damage to the coastline following the CPA’s decision to allow the developer to reclaim land generated considerable debate. The thorny question that the tribunal will now need to deal with is how coastal boundaries can be fixed, and if they are, what that might mean for the future of Cayman’s already vulnerable coastline.

See related story on CNS:

South-Sound-damage-revealed

Category: Science and Nature

Comments (21)

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  1. SKEPTICAL says:

    GREED is the appropriateword for those behind this development

  2. Anonymous says:

    I expected better of Alden, but he is more waffly than a waffle.

  3. Anonymous says:

    why are the 'Protect South Sound' activists not saying or doing anything about the institutions  (for whom they work) that are ripping up mangroves on the West Bay Road? Is this the usual Caymanian against Caymanian drama?

      

    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      Because they live in South Sound?  Not dissimilar to the West Bay ladies, who have nothing to say about the South Sound project. 

  4. Anonymous/ says:

    We see Ezzard for North Side / We see Arden protest with East Enders / But has anyone notice where is Alden McLaughlin for George Towners in South Sound???

  5. Stan da man says:

    The current changes are design to make this government and its backers Big Money that is very evident especially the current minister who likes to playMr Benevolent, but when you see how their little crew and family are living large and the Bling is in your face whilst theaverage person is struggling to make ends meet. You Know What time it is ????? PPM TIME!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Well 7:29, you got the big balls today. And I commend you for your brave comment. TRUE words.

      I leave you with the personalized message on the Premiers licence plate of his SUV Audi: YOLO

      YOLO = You Only Live Once

      • POOTOO says:

        Saw that. Childish isn’t it? And certainly lacking in taste and gravitas.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Are you telling the people on this island that this development is any different then the swampland you all are sitting on anywhere else in Cayman? Really ? How? Please explain?

    • Anonymous says:

      Where to begin, I don't think anyone objects to the plans on the inland side to develop house lots filled from the large excavation that were approved, even if the pools are a little on the deep side.  What is a problem is getting a lawyer to convince planning that he can fill in the coast line in order to reclaim land that was never his in the first place.  Imagine if you owned an oceanfront property and someone filled in a couple of hundred feet in front of you and built their house on that just because they found a lawyer who said they could, wouldn't have any problem with that?  Heck don't know why no-one thought of it earlier, we can re-sell seven mile all over again, just have to put some fill on the beach.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I am glad that the residents of South Sound are standing firm. I pray that you will win!

  8. Don Deal says:

    So René has now effectively built out the upland. Might as well continue and put the cruise dock there.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I saw this on Google Earth and was astounded. So very, very sad. Former Chief Surveyor Alister Ayres should have stood up and stopped this had he know that the planning permission was given as a result of an incorrect interpretation…  but …  RIGHT!!!!!!!?  Shaking my head…  So sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      He was former Chief surveyor before the the permission was given. i.e., wrong guy you're lambasting.

      • Anonymous says:

        So, if me, as a Doctor, sees someone who is in need bleeding profusely from a machete attack, running around in public looking for help, shall I just step aside and say, "No, I'm not doing that job any more. I hold the ability to help but nah…" Makes wayyyyyyyyyyyy more money in real estate, anyways… 

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Ayres has been one of the few people who have been willing to stand up and speak out about what they know is correct.

      He is no longer the Chief Surveyor – he no longer works for Government. He is speaking up because he is good citizen of this country.

      Why did the Chief Surveyor not act? Why did the Attorney General not act to protect crown land (the seabed in a Marine Replenishment Zone)? I understand he was asked to act. Why did the Minister of the Environment not act?

       

      The good people of South Sound have been trying thier best to fight this, however with very little help from the people in power whose duty it is to protect our natural environment and in this case Crown, that is Government, land.

       

       

      • R.U. Kidden says:

        I think I can answer the three questions in the above comment.

        1.   $$$

        2.   $$$

        3.   $$$

  10. Anonymous says:

    He's beentrying to move that road for years, every time he gets turned down he just tarts up the old application and tries again. The end game is to try and make multi millions from swamp land instead of just a few million.  I wouldn't be surprised if he drops the current application and applies under the new rules. 

  11. Anonyanmous says:

    What is good for the goose must also be good for the gander.  What is good for Beach Bay and applies to them will hold true for South Sound.  In the event that the residents of South Sound think not remember there is a court of law and I know that the developer will not be afraid to use the advantage of the law.  For too long we love to uphold two sets of laws on for the rich and the other for the poor not not anymore Bo Bo!  What is good for Beach Bay is also good for South Sound.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:14, I didn't know that Beach Bay was a Replenishment Zone that is going be dredged to accomodate a greedy developer?

    • Anony-me says:

      Beach Bay is building a new road where there is none now. SS is moving a road and putting in a canal. Chalk & cheetoes. A closer analogy would be WB Road. Chalk and dry erase marker. And a lesson for the SS crew. Don't let time pass before making legal challenges / requests for injunctions if necessarry, i.e., if any decision is ever taken. That is what has caught out the WB Ladies. By the time they filed their objection the practical decision point had passed, work had begun, even if they are technically objecting to a later decision (to close the road, not to build a new one) the court isn't going to try and roll-back money spent unless its completely egregious and a difference of opinion doesn't fall in to that category. So, if any decision is ever taken you need to immediately file an aplication for an injunction, to stop any action being taken, while you try and challenge the decision.