(CNS): One of Dart’s web of property companies has been given the go-ahead for the first step in the developer’s goal to remove the natural formation of beach-rock in an area of Seven Mile Beach just north of its new Kimpton resort. Department of Environment officials learned yesterday that the application that Crymble Landholding Ltd had made to Cabinet for a coastal works licence to dig up the famous beach and take rock samples was successful.
It is understood that the developer will be excavating a small area to begin with to see if it will be feasible to pull out all of the rock, as the developer is considering another brand beach resort in the area but believes that the beach-rock, a result of a natural phenomenon, would be an inconvenience for guests and if the rock cannot be removed, there may not be a hotel.
Dart Real Estate, formerly known as Dart Realty (Cayman), received its certificate of occupancy this week for the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, which is scheduled to host the Young Caymanian Leadership Awards on Saturday ahead of the first guests, which are expected the following weekend.
But Dart, the biggest single landowner in Cayman, is already looking at developing its next beach-front lot and the rock excavation is the first step.
Officials from the DoE explained earlier this year that the fast forming beach-rock forms when salt and ground water meet and may simply recur even if it is removed. They also stressed that it is an important element in Cayman’s diverse coastline.
CNS has contacted the developer and is awaiting comment but officials have previously stated that they do not believe that removing the rock will have an adverse impact on marine life or Seven Mile Beach in general.
When the plans were first announced earlier this year on CNS, readers posted more 120 comments on the article, many of which expressed concern about the issue. Environment Minister Wayne Panton said shortly afterwards that there would be no special treatment for Dart in its application and it would be considered in light of advice from environmental experts at the department.
It is not clear when the Cabinet approved the licence.
CNS has also contacted Minister Panton, who is currently in London for the JMC meeting, and is awaiting a response about the basis for the approval.