Public to get say on 7MB rock removal

| 16/06/2017 | 84 Comments

(CNS): The Dart Group has agreed to conduct an environmental impact assessment on Seven Mile Beach, according to the director of the Department of Environment. The developer has applied to remove 1,225 feet of beachrock from the marine park in the area north of the Kimpton hotel. But speaking at a National Conservation Council meeting this week, Gina Ebanks-Petrie confirmed that the necessary environmental assessment board has been put in place and the scope of the EIA is almost complete.

The EIA will ensure a public consultation process, where residents will be able to offer their thoughts and voice their objections to the proposal, which will all form part of the final report. That report will go to Cabinet, which has the final say on whether or not a coastal works licence will be given to the Dart-owned company that wants to develop another hotel on the site.

Regardless of the EIA findings and submissions from the community, in particular those concerned about the intended removal of rock from Cayman’s world renown beach, public objections may not be enough to halt the precedent setting move. Dart has essentially pointed to the removal of the beach rock as a deal breaker for the planned five-star resort. In the absence of government’s lone champion of the environment, Wayne Panton, who lost his seat in last month’s election, the new Cabinet is even less likely to put the environment before economic activity.

Dwayne Seymour, who has no environmental credentials, has been appointed as the minister with responsibility for the environment, supported by the councillor for the environment, Capt Eugene Ebanks, who is known to be opposed to the National Conservation Law and enhancing marine protections, which does not bode well for the last remaining undeveloped part of Seven Mile Beach.

The EIA for Dart’s application, one of just seven that the NCC recommended since the law was implemented, was due to the myriad concerns that the DoE has raised about this proposal. And while both the DoE and the NCC had been firm in their call for an EIA on this particular project, despite recent criticisms, the DoE has not called for EIAs on two new proposed oceanfront developments in George Town.

Two new separate but major condo and hotel proposals have now sought planning permission with the Central Planning Authority, and although the DoE has had discussions with the developers involved, the director said that there would be no EIA recommendation. Ebanks-Petrie explained that the projects, one at Pageant Beach and the other at the old Tree Top location, are on sites that the department is already very familiar with and that have been previously developed.  

She explained that the magnitude and scope of the impact means EIAs are not required and the plans have already been modified based on advice from the DoE. While the department will be submitting further comments regarding the applications for the planning authority to consider, there is no need for an EIA, Petrie-Ebanks said.

She said both sets of plans meet the setback requirements and neither developer is planning an invasive coastal work, just boardwalks along the ironshore.

Although she raised the issue that government may want to consider a strategic assessment on the impact of two new resorts in the area, there were no conservation or environmental threats so that was a matter for the departments of planning and tourism.

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Category: development, Local News, Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (84)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I vote for ANYONE who will be allowed to remove the rocks and build piers for boats around ALL of the Cayman Islands. “This is not about them or we” I also vote for more public beaches all around the Cayman Islands. if you go to Public Beach in 7 mile beach next time ……dig down below your feet and you will find black mangrove soil. If the sand moves fill it back ,what is the problem? We are on a mountain, got it? of course its going to fall down which person believes sand is moving up on the beach without waves?

  2. Sharkey says:

    Someone said that Dart can do anything that he wants because he has Cayman Status, why should he be allowed to do more than a birth Caymanian can do ? Why should he be above the Islands Laws ?

  3. anonymous says:

    “a deal breaker”? Oh, my goodness, like the Cayman Islands tourism industry will collapse if this developer doesn’t get the go-ahead for another hotel? Just how big a bunch of idiots does this guy reckon Caymanians are? We’ll find out when he gets the green light, as I have no doubt he will.Really sad!

  4. C'mon Sense says:

    As a country who relies almost solely on tourism you would think people might grasp the fact we need to conserve the natural environment to the best of our abilities to prolong our tourism business ensuring employment in that sector of work but, hey this is the same country that stacks all of their garbage in one pile to make a mountain out of it. Ever hear the saying never shit where you eat?

  5. Ned Zero says:

    Dart Islands? Dartinians?

  6. Anonymous says:

    dart the man! mon?

  7. Anonymous says:

    What happens when they remove the rock, the waterline moves 50 ft inland (look at the map), and low abd behold more beach rock appears?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t Daddy D sposed to be building a camping area, for Easter campers, near public beach and the Kimpton?…about a year or 2 ago?

    • Anonymous says:

      Daddy D has a short memory, then again so do most others

    • Anonymous says:

      And a dog park….and trails for walking and cycling…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Hope not, the public beach has already become a trashy area of foreign pushy beach vendors and their mess.
      Shame on the Ministry of tourism for allowing one of Cayman’s great assets to become a third world hawker’s garbage area.

    • Cheating Alden says:

      Wasn’t that part of the dump in Bodden Town deal?

    • anonymous says:

      Some developers will say anything to get their own way. And when they are dealing with gullible people they really go to town!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Taking something and making it better is not the Caymanian way. Unless there is ……compensation. Or consulting fees. Or both.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I think we should ban tourists, hotels, corporation and save the beach rocks.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Another nail in Cayman’s Coffin. There is no turning back. There is no stopping the destruction. They will let you speak, but just to say they let you speak. They will not listen however; nor do they care what you have to say. They are killing Cayman slowly, but surely.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is no stopping progress. This is the island growing and maturing and is not what old timers want or need but Caymanians of the future will need places to work, things to do to survive.

      • Anonymous says:

        And they will have to leave because the foreigners are in fact taking all their jobs and many are treating Caymanians with total disdain and with absolute impunity.

      • Anonymous says:

        Caymanians of the future need quality education (and to take advantage of it when offered) to create jobs of the future. They do not need us to pull the rug out from under them.

  12. Blue marlin says:

    Guy Harvey your silence is deafening???

  13. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    How much wealth is enough?? How much should Dart garner against the measure of turtles and other natural resources? I think he has enough. More than enough. He has been given concessions that allow him to unfairly compete against existing hotels and other businesses.

    NO! Kenneth. You cannot degrade the beach for your own purposes. NO!

  14. Sharkey says:

    I wonder how the public voices would be heard in the final decision on beach rock removal? Would they only be able to call in to voice their opinion ? Who would make sure that those voices are heard and counted ? Not Mr Dart or Ms Ebanks.

    I think that the removal of the beach rocks are very important to the future of the beach and the Island and shouldn’t be disturbed.

    I would say that if you love and care for the future of the beach, then we would have to stay on this issue and make sure that your objectives are smart, intelligent, and scientific and heard.

  15. Anonymous says:

    What’s the difference? They’ll do what they want anyway.

    • Anonymous says:

      You bet! Government here doesn’t care what people think. If it means $$$ it’s probably going to happen.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is why marine life can’t survive.not because of poaching but because of these giant land developers who has so much money they believe that the laws of physics doesn’t apply to them.I feel real sorry for this island in the near future.we where once simple people with simple lives.back then there wasn’t no crime sea food came in abundance and everyone lived good with each Cayman has sold out to the devil for the love of money.our voices doesn’t matter. money rules everything.

    • Anonymous says:

      But let them hear our voices anyway

  16. Anonymous says:

    “Dart has essentially pointed to the removal of the beach rock as a deal breaker for the planned five-star resort.”

    and that’s a bad thing how?!

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like you’re so used to being coerced that you don’t even know you’re being coerced.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Public consultation?! How about:

    Development and Planning Law (2017 Revision)
    10. (1) At least once in every five years after the date on which a development plan for any area is approved by the Legislative Assembly…
    11. (1) The Authority shall, in the course of preparing a development plan relating to any land, or proposals for alterations or additions to any such plan, consult with the Board and any other public authority concerned with the development contemplated in the area concerned and may consult with such other persons or bodies as they think fit…

    • Comp R.E. Hension says:


    • Anonymous says:

      “after the date on which a development plan for any area is approved by the Legislative Assembly”

      And when was the last time a development plan for SMB was even broached, let alone approved by any LA?

      But nobody wanted to make it an election issue.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I hope they consult our turtles they have been using this beach to lay their eggs for hundreds of years.

    • Anonymous says:

      12.26..the beach maybe, not the beach rock.

      • Anonymous says:

        And you work for free…from the goodness of your heart, don’t you Saint Anonymous.

    • Anonymous says:

      Naw. They’ll just sponsor some BS event so we all can feel good about our continued destruction of our natural resources. Like a few years back when one of our exalted realtors let us all know how much he loved blue iguanas. Right then, bring on the fat, sweaty pollies with their choker ties and ceremonial hard hats and shovels for a photo op on the turtle nesting grounds.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t forget about the ants that have been living there for millenniums and that it will also displace bacteria and algae. Has an environmental impact study been made how the surrounding rocks will feel emotionally?

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:


      It’s in a MARINE PARK. This is a no-brainer to me. What do we need more of: (a) hotels or (b) nature.

    • Phil says:

      I say NO!!,Dart came and found it like that so leave it alone, people can walk a little further down and enjoy a nice area to snorkel,

  19. Anonymous says:

    The reef there (call it beach-rock all you want, it does not change the facts) seems to play a very important environmental role. In particular, it seems to fetter driftwood that might otherwise wash up and aggregate on that section of pristine beach. It should be allowed to continue that environmentally important function.

  20. Anonymous says:

    MARINE PARK end of story! Leave it alone!

    • Anonymous says:

      Rock. Did it up. End of story.

    • Anonymous says:

      End of your story, not the story.

    • Anonymous says:

      The councillor with responsibility for the environment does not believe in Marine Parks. End of story.

      • Anon says:

        Capt Eugene Ebanks, who is known to be opposed to the National Conservation Law and enhancing marine protections,,,

    • Anonymous says:

      Had it been a Caymanian attempting to destroy the shoreline, what would have been the results? Any person other than a Caymanian can get approval to do wahtever they want to do e.g. the boardwalk that blocks the beach walkers in Bodden Town. Why do we have to tolerate such obstruction? Is there a Planning Dept.? If there us a Plann g Dept., why are they sitting on their laurels, collecting money and doing nothing.
      When can we expect fairness for us and not always them?

      • fred says:

        Dart is a Caymanian – has been for a while. Hell, he owns more of the surface area of the Cayman Islands than any other human being so its hardly surprising.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I am glad the public consultation is being given but I hope the public will be informed of both sides respectively.

    Cathy Church who has studied Marine Biology and Courtney Platt who is an avid lover for marine life would be interesting guest speakers to voice their opinions on the matter, if given the chance.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, lets hear from them exactly how many of their award winning underwater shots have been taken at this location. We already know the answer….

    • Anonymous says:

      Everyone can comment in the public consultation phases, both on the terms of reference and the draft EIA itself. Please be sure to look at all the materials and comment yourself.

  22. Anonymous says:

    This will also allow for the public to voice their support for the proposal, something which I shall certainly be doing along with all of my extended family members.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope that the voice of Caymanians is listened to more closely than that of the hundreds of expats wanting work and jobs at these developments. Hey Alden, we have been asking “who are we developing for?” for many years. Care to let us in on the answer, or don’t you know?

      • Anonymous says:

        So what if expats choose to voice there concerns about this project? This benefit the developer and hurts residences period…enough with the us against them already.

        I’m Caymanian btw.

        • Anonymous says:

          Expats should voice their concerns. Their voices however should not dominate Caymanian voices.

      • Anonymous says:

        What about the voice of the one or two Caymanians wanting work and jobs at these developments? Too bad you can’t wee with your own eyes that these developments are for all the people that live and will live in the Cayman Islands.

        • Anonymous says:

          Can you really wee with your own eyes? – That’s pretty impressive.

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh really, so why are so many hundreds of workers being imported to build the projects and then staff them when they are complete, while numerous locals are actively denied opportunity and there is little apprenticeship or mentoring available?

          • Anonymous says:

            I hear that very few apply for those jobs…beneath their abilities and desires for a $100,000 salary

        • Anonymous says:

          All short term jobs and short term thinking. Never heard of people visiting on island because of a nice hotel to stay in. Have heard of people visiting an island because of the natural beauty and lack of concrete. Hotels do not keep visitors coming back, natural beauty and a warm community does that. These bring long term employment.

      • Anonymous says:

        youre getting on thefighting side of me?

      • Anonymous says:

        There you go 9.33, my point all along. Certain Caymanians don’t want jobs or development. Their caves are quite adequate.

    • Anonymous says:

      And like closing the road corridor to accommodate Dart, this too shall ask for the public’s opinion but that is just for formality, the deal is done, and Dart has been already approved. They gave him Caymanian Status, he do as he pleases like the rest of the greedy developers now toting status.

      • Anonymous says:

        If I wasn’t financially suicidal, I would love to say I hope Dart and everyone like him left the country.

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