Residents given reprieve over backyard quarry

| 03/02/2011

(CNS): Residents in Mahogany Estates in the Lower Valley area of Bodden Town were breathing a sigh of relief this morning following the news last night that the Central Planning Authority had not granted permission to a developer to restart excavation in the heart of their neighbourhood. The residents, however, still have concerns that there is nothing to stop Whiterock Investments, the owner of the land, from re-applying to level the land, threatening to turn their neighbourhood into a quarry. Reverend Nicholas Sykes, who has acted as the spokesperson for the community’s campaign against the quarrying, said the constant need to fight these applications takes a serious toll on the community.

As the developer has excavated in the area in the past, blasting and removing fill, before he was stopped by the planning department, Sykes says the residents are all too well aware of the detrimental impact that kind of industrial work can have on people’s lives and all the residents live in fear of that happening again.

“At the moment there seems to be no limit on how many applications people can make, and they are not deterred from making very similar ones,” the reverend noted.

Residents believed their misery had ended in October 2008, when an excavation application was refused in accordance with the law that it would "cause noise and create a nuisance and annoyance to the residents of the area" and "negatively affect the quality of life of the residents in the surrounding area", but the application reappeared last year.

After various delays the CPA heard Whiterock Investment’s application to extract 295,000 cubic yards of fill, on Wednesday, once again threatening the peace and quiet of the community and the critical wildlife habitat. The CPA’s refusal to the application was revealed on Wednesday evening, to much relief after a long, and what residents described as a difficult, meeting.

The area in question that the developer wishes to excavate (which he insists is not a quarry) in order to level the land for development provides protection to the area from hurricanes and is also a critical wildlife habitat, home to many red listed flora and fauna and endangered indigenous species.

In particular, the white shouldered bat, which was believed to be extinct in the Cayman Islands, was rediscovered at the location in 2001, making it an area of particular interest.

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Comments (7)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    295,000 yards will take at least 2 years of quarrying 5 days a week from 8.30 to 4.30 Monday to Friday.  You try living next door to that. The blasting will take place so close to existing homes that it will literally be in their back yards.  Home owners were not advised at the time of purchase that quarrying would take place in their back yards.  When finished, the 44 acre site will be some 18 – 20 feet BELOW the surrounding areas. The developer claims they will not blast the bluff away.  However, there is no guarantee of this because the plan shows that the area to be QUARRIED GOES RIGHT DOWN TO THE BLUFF. even if you leave the bluff there, the resulting land will be 18 – 20 feet below the rest of the land. When the seas crash over the bluff where do you think they will go?  Yes, into the homes of any one crazy enough to build their home in a gold fish bowl. The developer has permission to go down to 6 feet to put roads in. Other developments in the area have done that without levelling and selling the fill.  House lots are selling at $85000plus in the area.  44 acres can create a lot of wealth for the developer without destroying the whole area and creating a public nuiscance.  If you like the idea so much, you can buy my house because I didn’t sign up to live in a quarry.   

  2. Anonymous says:

     What about the other family members rights?  It is not his property, he is the Administrator of the said property.  He should not have had the oppurtunity to submit the request for planning approval an second time.  When does the Planning Board ever get things right?  It was REFUSED in 2008 based on irregularities, which has not been remedied over the years.  Read the details and summation, I did.

  3. Humming RightS says:

    Has justice been done here?

    I dare say no! 

    I can say that we have had run away development on this island that has not benefitted the country in anyway. But we must not be so bigotted as to think we can stop every project on the basis of nuisance and noise pollution. To quarry the 295k tons of rock will not last for a very long time and unless the owners of the land can do this to so, this property is useless to the owners. This is not justice, his rights have been violated here as well.

    XXXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      Does a landowner have a right to damage or endanger the homes of those who live close by so that he can make a few dollars?

      Does someone have a right to go against rules designed to protect the entire community simply because they feel like it?

      Please explain which rights have been violated.

    • WhatAreYouOn? says:

      I would like to build a 15 storey skyscraper right on top of Rum Point and, if you don’t let me, then my rights will have been violated.

      What a total nonsense

  4. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately there is the chance that every time the board changes, applications will be resubmitted.

  5. pmilburn says:

    So far so good.Lets hope it stays that way.Good to see the concerned folks in this area standing up for their rights.Now if we could just get the rest of the island to follow suit!!!!!!