Church denied planning permission

| 13/02/2018 | 93 Comments
Cayman News Service

Pastor Dino Robinson

(CNS): A Christian church looking to establish itself on Shamrock Road has been refused planning permission for a third time, as neighbouring residents again successfully argued that the location was unsuitable for a house of worship, with the noise and the traffic problems that it would bring. The Bethel Refuge Apostolic Church was originally denied planning permission for a 400-seat church in 2015 and once again in a subsequent appeal, due to issues regarding traffic, noise and the suitability of the low density zone location.

The only real difference in the new application was the identity of the proposed purchaser seeking approval to build on the 0.9 acre site situated on Shamrock Road behind the Flow exchange building, as the Central Planning Approval noted very little changes to the plans which had previously been rebuffed.

Pastor Dino Robinson of the First Bilingual Christian Church said he signed an agreement to purchase the raw land site from the previous applicant, provided planning permission could be obtained. This came after the church said the value of its land was worthless after plans for its $1m house of worship were blocked.

Following the latest refusal, which came after a CPA meeting last week, Pastor Robinson said, “Everyone has a right to an opinion and people have expressed their opinions. It’s a pity that people have used a number of different concepts to oppose this project but I respect the decision, although it is clear that the previous church ran into more arguments.”

Objectors and neighbouring landowners included some of the most respected names in Cayman’s legal community, such as Arthur Hunter, founder of the Cayman law firm which is today called Appleby, and Walkers’ chief, Ingrid Pierce.

The objectors’ arguments were led by local attorney Waide DaCosta after the hearing was delayed because no applicant was present, but some 30 minutes later Pastor Robinson arrived to defend the application.

Objections centered on the impact of additional vehicles on an area already strained by traffic problems, regularly requiring the police to direct the flow of cars and in some parts just a single lane approach from the east.

When asked why he thought the low density residential zone was suitable for a church, Pastor Robinson said that the location would allow worshippers from all parts of the island to access the facility as well as for budget reasons. The land had previously been on the market for $290,000, although Pastor Robinson said he would have received a significant discount.

“Finding a property is very difficult because in George Town you are looking at around $1 million for anything close to an acre,” he said.

It was then argued that the fundamental question of the location’s suitability for a church had not been properly addressed. While it was agreed that churchgoers should be able to enjoy their space and play music and hold events, neighbours said it was not suitable for a residential neighbourhood.

One local resident said his property was just 15 feet away from the proposed site, which would effectively be building in his back yard, severely impacting his quiet enjoyment of his house.

The applicants from the church said that most of the congregation would be brought in by bus, thereby mitigating the concerns over traffic and that the building was designed with as few windows as possible to prevent noise being a disturbance.

“Whilst a great variety of activities are rightly part of a church’s remit, the noise and traffic such activities create necessitate their construction in the appropriate zones,” commented another owner of nearby land. “Low density residential zones are not suitable so it is wise the church sought the guidance of the board prior to the acquisition of the land. It’s great to see this kind of fiscal responsibility from our religious leaders.”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why is yet another church needed. It should be disallowed just on the grounds that on an island of approximately 60,000, three hundred and twenty churches is enough. Wake up people. Ask yourself why is it necessary. Some of these churches have literally a handful of worshippers.

  2. Ironside says:

    Save your money! Build a shelter/refuge and learning centre, somewhere for the people to go and seek guidance, get something to eat or just rest and perhaps get some much needed mental and human contact. All without the religious stuff clouding things.

    “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.” —Seneca

    Don’t be sheep, think!

  3. West bay Premier says:

    The Pastor will reapply for a Church and Bar , how could CPA refuse that plan .

    • Diogenes says:

      Sounds about right
      Then the hypocrites could get their fill of gossip and drink in one place

      I will give it Diogenes’ seal of approval

  4. Anonymous says:

    Get it through your heads, there is no GOD it’s all a fairytale…..

  5. Diogenes says:

    Some of the same people you see in churches every week donating, when you know they can’t afford it all because they have been brainwashed, so disheartening
    Giving away the little they have for some invisible favor and potential “blessings”
    My family did the same thing for years, and purely from an economic perspective it is such a scam, these churches prey on the poverty stricken and the downtrodden, promising salvation in another life while people in the here and now can’t afford to get their kids the things they need for school or struggle to ensure that they can keep their homes
    Imagine over a lifetime how much money these people give away, purely because a book tells them to, the con artists and “prosperity gospel” religious leaders may not be here in full force yet, but how long until we have mansion and private jet owning pastors and church leaders the Joel Olsteens, Creflo Dollars, and Kenneth Copelands of the world walking around in Cayman?
    They are thieves the lot of them, you want to be a good Christian stay in your damn house read the bible and contemplate on the words yourself instead of being led like sheep, go out and volunteer your time with charities and organizations that help others don’t just drop your money in a basket and sit in a pew and then go home for the week
    Actually think for yourself take the good portions of the Bible and put them into effect, instead of just going to church to sit with your friends and gossiping to look good and get some sense of moral superiority or anticipation of “blessings”

    I may be agnostic but I guarantee I do more perceived christian acts than most of our “christian” population who don’t give a damn about anyone but themselves, I have compassion for others and I volunteer my time and effort to help others as much as I can
    Even without being blinded by organized religion

    What is it your book says
    “Faith without works is dead”
    Though my detractors would have you think I am some christian hating anti-religious radical leftist
    You’ll find I am far more reasonable than they would have you believe

    Diogenes of Cayman

  6. Anonymous says:

    So is it an amalgamation of The First Bilingual Christian Church and Bethel Refuge Apostolic Church? Youtube entries indicate they’re exceptionally loud and obstreperous even for evangelical God-botherers. At the part where the the self-righteous, self-aggrandizing, martyr’s rant starts, I bet it’s about 95dB
    Can’t blame the neighbourhood for not wanting them. I’ll stick with The Church of the Latter-Day Dude.

  7. shane says:

    A lot of these churches are a front, a front for easy money, a front for free accommodation for friends and family ( while the church goes pay for it ) do your research and you’ll see that usually the care take who lives at the church is related to the cleaner, who’s married to the church cook who is related to the church buss driver, who drive the buss all day long on gas, insurance and maintenance paid by the church goer. These churches do their best to try and outdo other churches . its a big mess and they should be ashamed of them selves!!

  8. "Anonymousir" says:

    like we need any more churches ….

  9. Anonymous says:

    I actually quite enjoy my weekly Sunday worship at Church of the Holy Mattress with Pastor Pillow. A true rest for the weary.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Cayman we truly do not need more churches!!!!!!! What we truly need are for the churches, that already exist, to come together and collectively be a power source of healing, counselling, giving, and teaching so that the people of this country feel that there is an institution that they can turn to for help. Other than the bars and resorting to other anti-social practices for a quick fix. I find that too many of our Churches exist in name sake only and that is all. Members often do not practice what they are preaching and look the other way instead of helping to sort out the many real issues that so many of the communities that they exist in are experiencing. I think God is not pleased with the ‘CHURCH’ in Cayman right now.

    • Anonymous says:

      99% of church goers never practice what they preach, but they sure love to run other people down…

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said. But the usual, can’t say nothing round here. God will come when all other options has been exhausted.

    • ernesto says:

      I totally agree with you, I’ve attended a few churches in Cayman, its like gangs, if you from another church they look down on you and judge you, that’s how hypocritical they are. where I live in savannah there are literally 7 churches within 5 minutes of my house and they all claim to be the best but all they are doing is segregating people and taking their money, ive stopped going to church now for 3 years reason being is because that’s where I met some of the most judgmental, bad mouthing, hypocritical people that I have ever come across, the type of people that judge me for wearing shorts in church but they are divorced, 3 kids with 3 different women and still cheating and drinking and don’t get me stated with these damn pedophiles!!!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps it was Un-intelligent Design?

  12. Marl Karx says:

    Everyone goes to church for that couple of hours on Sunday so that the community can see how morally upright they are and then return to their secular “sin” filled lives for the rest of the week
    It’s hilarious cause out of the billions of people on earth these people believe they have the direct line to God and that their churches are special
    Don’t even get me started on the giving God the glory for the good and blaming the devil for everything else, talk about claiming the highs and disregarding the lows, I get that the concepts of life and death are scary and that people want to believe in these religions so that they can see their loved ones again “in heaven”
    but why is this God who used to speak directly to people in words and through burning bushes and angels been silent for hundreds of years? Even though the bible said that the apostles would live to see his return ( newsflash the apostles have been dead for almost 2000 years)
    At what point are we going to acknowledge in all likelihood this is a collection of stories used to keep people in line and complacent?

    We can all acknowledge that Greek, Roman and Norse mythology is just that myth, yet with the same amount of evidence (none) I am criticized for being skeptical of Christianity?
    Seems convenient

    • Anonymous says:

      I like.

    • Anonymous says:

      By definition Faith is belief without evidence an increasingly difficult concept in modern times. To quote from a Jewish author, science takes things apart to see how they work, religion puts things together to see what they mean. Faith is not certainty. It is the courage to live with uncertainty. Science is about explanation. Religion is about meaning. I can respect your atheism, perhaps you can try to respect people who have faith. The argument of proof is circular.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is not about faith, this is about churches that corrupt souls and take money under false pretenses. Churches are, after all, created by men. We all know that men are flawed. So I respect your right to religion but not the fraud charges.

      • Upon High says:

        Well, when you argue about having faith, non-believers have already lost the argument. Case closed, right? ?

  13. Anonymous says:


  14. Anonymous says:

    Thanks CPA.. now Government needs to go a little deeper. Some of these (new) churches and….we know who they are – are running their scam because of all the concessions they are afforded under the guise of CHURCH. This is what it is all about… not God nor Christianity. There was a small church in the middle of Savannah that has grown in to a large orginazation – therefore we must constantly be aware.
    I hope these are not the same people that was seeking planning permission to build a church on another property nearby, after the person refused to sell!!!!!!! These demons don’t give up.

    Thank u CPA.

    • West bay Premier says:

      Anonymous 9:06 am , I agree and believe that it’s all about the MONEY and not GOD , but I guess that money is their god . But I don’t understand why they want a Church for every 25 people of the population when 3/4 of the population don’t go to Church . Then this Pastor want a 400 capacity Church , something wrong with that or him .

  15. Anonymous says:

    There is half a church in by.
    Buy that one a finish it.
    Can you imagine the horror of hearing a pastor yell and scream about the devil coming ?
    Churches should outside of residential areas.

    • oh my says:


    • Anonymous says:

      And they should not be allowed within 1500 feet of places that sell liquor.

      • Charles Darwin says:

        There’s a ‘church’ literally 10 feet away from a discount liquors in red bay, lol. Mekkin sure you can still afford a shot after giving away your money to an imaginary ghost.

  16. Anonymous says:

    There is not another Caymanian that believe in God more than I do, however the majority of churches on these Islands are a mockery to God and the biggest money racketeering business on the Island. When we had less churches we had a less crime free place. There are more churches sprouting up all over the place even in peoples private homes. Thank God for Uncle Dart and his development at Caymana Bay. If not I don’t know what some of these people would have Cayman looking like. On another note its easy to get in the Country if you say that you are a Pastor.

  17. Anonymous says:

    question: why do you think churches are declining in modern first world countries with proper education systems????
    or maybe the bright lights of the caribbean and their scam money making churches are the future…….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  18. Anon says:

    I read all the crazy comments and totally enjoyed them, everyone of them. We have a lot of churches, but just remember, not everyone that enters most of these churches are made to feel welcome. As a matter of fact, when have you last been invited to attend a church? As long as we have people who believe in the Lord, surely we will have more churches. And as long as we have alcohol, we will have more bars.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Many seem to be investing in churches as a get rich business. Every warehouse and corner store is a church. Find an already established church and worship there. Instead of investing in more buildings, go to other parts of the Caribbean and invest in missionary work.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I went to church once. There was both music and dancing, on a Sunday. Imagine the horror, highly illegal and immoral. Never went back.

    • PD says:

      These are such disrespectful and hurtful comments. Us who believe and like our church services should not be disrespected or be marginalized. Everyone has a right to worship and believe what they want but please do not disrespect us who love our religious services. I feel a lot of these comments posted are very hurtful.

  21. Lois says:

    A church is required in Camana Bay. Why not rent space from Dart?

    • Anonymous says:

      I already worship at the altar of Mamon..

    • Anonymous says:

      There is already one church that every Sunday does they activities at the cinema in camana bay between 11am to 1pm so you are welcome to come and be part. But I’m sure that they will give space to one more if they choose to go there as well.

    • Anonymous says:

      Church is held in the cinema on Sundays. So Camana Bay already has a church. Its short sweet and to the point with a very poignant message every time. ANNND you dont have to dress up to outdo your neighbour. Just be comfortable.

  22. West bay Premier says:

    I say no too that another Church is not needed . Some years ago Cayman had just as many Churches as the 500 Banks at that time . Now it sounds like the Land of Churches and Banks and Bar rooms and few Politicians and a big lodge estate.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Get DART to invest, the planning will go through then guys.

    • Anonymous says:

      Shitty, bitchy, pointless comment. Jealousy gets you nowhere. Your bible tells you that.

      • Anonymous says:

        Shut. Up.

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh how the truth hurts…get a grip of that emotion bobo. I love churchgoers who have no answers to truthful comments. Love it. Think you are supposed to love me too? Or is that hypocrisy kicking in?

  24. Anonymous says:

    Only church to worship in is The Ocean . Just make sure you can swim , its the only requisite.

  25. Anonymous says:

    So what zoning does the CPA feel that Churches fall into?

    • Anonymous says:

      Theme park? Medical (there is a lot of brain washing going on)? Entertainment (the sky fairy stories are funny as anything)?

    • West bay Premier says:

      Anonymous 4:50 pm , that’s a very good question. I think the answer to your question, is that the Law gives CPA the right to use their own discretion on where a Church should be put , and believe that Churches has never been deemed neither Comercial or Residencial.

  26. shane says:

    They say christian country ?? I dont think so after all let them build their house of god and let who wants to worship there!!!!

  27. Anonymous says:

    It’s a miracle.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile, the tacky and crass “I don’t go over that line” nipple-pasty Mariposa Pole Dancing Club gets a T&B and liquor license. Obviously CPA feels that place was more necessary in 2018.

  29. anonymous says:

    I agree that there are an over abundance of Churches popping up on every lot and plaza but so are bars, liquor outlets and I have seen more visible destruction caused by the latter. I was shocked to see one in my district with men and women arriving as early as 9AM trying the locked door. Anyone who needs alcohol this early, as an addiction problem, and I am sure that in most cases they have children at home witnessing and modelling this abhorrent behavior, including domestic abuse.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Where the heck do they dream up the fancy names for these ‘churches’? It’s like a gang turf war!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Better they take their house of dollar worship somewhere else, but not in my backyard. Nature is my church and it’s free!

  32. Anonymous says:

    How about the SMB hotel next to Pointsettia? Won’t it bring noise and traffic?

  33. Anonymous says:

    1 million dollar church……

  34. Anonymous says:

    I liked the Church of God because that had to be best because it said it was God’s church. But then I discovered the Church of God (Universal), and that sounds even more impressive than the Church of God.

    • Anonymous says:

      I was all for the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints – but then it got reorganized and was sooooo much better!

    • Al Catraz says:

      I tried the Assembly of God instead. It came with poorly written instructions, and I had parts leftover when I was done.

  35. Observer says:

    You are so right both of you 12:56 and 1:18pm respectively. There has got to be something done with the number of churches here

    • Anonymous says:

      2:07 pm, these backyard, new name churches, are break away fragments, from another fake money making church. They are money making ventures, not really about religion. Some of them preach, telling the congregation, they don’t want to see blue notes in the collection pan, they want orange ones ($100) bills. It is time to close those johnny come lately business vultures.

  36. Anonymous says:

    The church goers could just walk 2 mins down the street and find another church. These money washing entities are all over the place!

    We don’t need anymore gas stations and churches!

  37. Anonymous says:

    The Bethel what??? Are they mainstream or another bunch of nut jobs?

  38. Anonymous says:

    Right on! There are already too many churches in Cayman. There is no need for yet another one.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe they could use the funds they’d planned to build the church with to help the needy and vulnerable instead.

      Or is that not the Christian way?

  39. Anonymous says:

    Praise the Lord! He works in mysterious ways.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why are they all running here to open scam churches? They should concentrate on the countries from whence they came, in an effort to cleanse and cast out devils, and convert criminals. Save your country from destruction, build on a firm foundation.

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