‘Ugly’ 7MB wall directed by CPA

| 06/12/2019 | 162 Comments
Cayman News Service
Wall being built by Seven Mile Public Beach is blocking the view of the beach

(CNS): The wall being erected along the side of the Seven Mile Public Beach as part of the enhancement project, which has caused a huge stir on social media, was directed by the Central Planning Authority, according to the minutes from the meeting when the application for the project was granted. The wall, which many people say is ugly and that it blocks the views of the beach, was originally meant to be around two feet, but the government was directed by the CPA to build it higher.

The enhancement project at Seven Mile Beach is being done by the Dart Group. It is one of the remaining commitments the islands’ largest investor made to the government as part of the controversial NRA agreement that led to it securing the closure of the West Bay Road. As a result, the planning application was made by government, which had intended to erect a two-foot crash barrier wall in accordance with the NRA regulations.

However, the increase in the height of wall was a CPA decision.

According to the minutes from the CPA meeting in March 2018, when the government was given planning permission for the project, the authority insisted that the wall be increased to five feet, despite the NRA’s objections and the requirements of the traffic law.

It appears that the requirement was based on concerns by the CPA that people getting off buses on the West Bay Road would be able to stride over a two-foot wall.

During the hearing, where government, representatives from the Dart Group and objectors from nearby condos attended, the CPA said the wall was too small to meet the objective, which was to prevent people from crossing into the public beach from the side of the road. The sidewalk was originally meant to be on the inside, with the aim of protecting people from traffic, but the CPA also asked for it to be placed along the roadside.

Now that the project is nearing competition, it has become apparent that the wall is blocking any remaining views of the beach. However, it is expected to be clad with decorative stone, which may make it less ‘ugly’ than people find it at present.

On social media the call went out to tear down the wall, and people wanted to know how it could ever have been approved by planning. However, the minutes make it clear that the wall was not only approved by the CPA but the board actually demanded it. Some West Bay constituents, especially those in Tara Rivers’ district, want MLAs to step in and use their power to get the wall removed and replaced with something more natural and attractive.

Dart, which is doing the $3 million job, has been blamed for the ugly wall but in a comment to The Cayman Compass earlier this week, the group said the design features were built to specifications supplied by government in consultation with the Central Planning Authority and the National Roads Authority.

CNS has reached out to the various government officials in the Ministry of Planning, which is overseeing the project, and we are awaiting a response.

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Category: development, Local News

Comments (162)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It didn’t have to be a solid wall. They could’ve used metal columns or a barricade which would’ve allowed some visibility.

    The objective was clearly to obstruct the view.

    Also, is it really a problem that “people getting off buses on the West Bay Road would be able to stride over a two-foot wall”? What’s wrong with people stepping over a wall to enter a public beach?

    If the wall is meant to protect, why is the sidewalk IN FRONT of it?

    None of this makes any sense.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This wall IS ugly!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Dart has done nothing for the people of the Cayman Islans unless you consider 2 useless bridges and $7.00 water in his cinema to be progress.
    Dart’s presence in the Cayman Islands has been profitable for the politicians and the money people but catastrophic for the everyday Caymanian. I hope he ups and leaves and takes his white man money with him. I am white by the way. I can use the w word.

    • Anonymous says:

      “$7.00 water in his cinema”

      That’s.. actually industry standard. Movie studios take a big cut of the ticket sale so in order for cinemas to be profitable they charge a lot for concessions.

      • Anonymous says:


        • Anonymous says:

          I actually went to the cinema last night and just for curiosity’s sake, I priced out my trip. I paid around $53 for two tickets, two sodas, two candies, one popcorn, and one order of fries. Pricing that same order on https://movietheaterprices.com/regal-concession-prices/ (Regal being the old branding of the Cinema) brings me to around $63. That is using the less expensive end of the price range. Even if you consider the exchange rate, it’s almost exactly the same price. Don’t hate the player (Dart), hate the game (film industry).

      • Anonymous says:

        11:46, What industry standard charges $7.00 for water? You do not know what you are talking about.

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean Dart has done nothing for you but…. WE get it. Your jealous.

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