(CNS): The Public Lands Commission plans to signpost all of the registered beach access points on all three islands in order to ensure that everyone can enjoy the beach, as is their right under the law. There are 121 registered public rights of way to the sea in the Cayman Islands — 108 on Grand Cayman, ten on Little Cayman and just three on Cayman Brac. The PLC, in partnership with the National Roads Authority, began putting up the signs on Grand Cayman last month and there are now 40 signs at access points which are currently clear of any obstructions to the beach.
As a result of the 2017 Beach Access Report released earlier this year, the commission felt it was important to install sign posts, as many beach access points are unmarked, and they are prioritising the ones that are already cleared and accessible to the public.
“Proper signage that is highly visible immediately brings to the public’s eyes the physical location of any public beach access,” PLC Chair Rupert Vasquez said. “It encourages maximum usage and the full benefits of these accesses dedicated for the general public’s enjoyment. It also sends a clear message to all that the public has full rights and can use these public beach accesses with absolute confidence and without fear.”
Additional signs are expected to be installed in Cayman Brac in the coming weeks, and the PLC continues to work towards ensuring that access to other paths to the sea across the Cayman Islands are addressed.
“As a country, we must work cooperatively with local residents and developers to ensure that the public’s right to beach access is upheld and all have access to one of our country’s greatest resources,” said Lands Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly. “The Cayman Islands Government is committed to safeguarding public access to the beach for locals, residents and visitors.”
The signs have been widely welcomed but they have not yet resolved the ongoing disputes about access to, and the use of, particular beaches, with land owners still disputing the public’s broad right to access, traverse and use the beach. Stories of locals and visitors been shooed off beaches by oceanfront property owners continues to be a common complaint, as well as signs placed by landowners warning people to stay off what they believe is their private beach.
Established under the Public Lands Law (2017), the PLC’s mandate is to regulate and protect the use, enjoyment and the right of access of public lands by members of the public; to respond to complaints regarding the use or misuse of public land; and to advise the ministry on general policies in respect to enforcement and exercise other functions delegated to it by the minister.
The 2017 Beach Access Report is in the CNS Library.
A hard-copy binder of the report is located at the Lands and Survey Department’s front counter in the Government Administration Building and at the Lands and Survey Office in Cayman Brac.
Queries and complaints regarding the Public Lands Law can be sent to the Public Land Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, correspondence may be sent to the Chair of the Public Lands Commission by physical delivery to the Government Administration Building or by mail:
Public Lands Commission
PO Box 1089
Grand Cayman KY1-1102
Category: Local News