Helipad stirs up trouble in North Side

| 30/03/2021 | 102 Comments

(CNS): A proposal by one of Dart’s network of companies to construct a helicopter landing pad in the Hutland area of North Side has stirred up concerns across the district, and the local MP has submitted a formal objection on behalf of his constituents, including neighbouring landowners directly impacted by the proposal. The helipad appears to be for the private use of Ken Dart, Cayman’s wealthiest resident, his family and friends, according to documents submitted to the Central Planning Authority, which is scheduled to hear the application on Wednesday.

Following a community meeting and discussions with Dart staff, Ezzard Miller MP is leading the campaign against the project, which is described as “unprecedented”, given its effect on the community.

The impact on land values, the risk of a chopper crash, the threat to any future development of land in the flight path and the disruption to the peace and tranquility of those living in the area are some of the key concerns of North Siders. But residents are also concerned that the helipad would be the first step in a commercial venture and are skeptical that it would be confined to private use, given the proposal by Dart to create mountain bike pathways for what they say is the owner’s use.

In the submissions made to the CPA by Arboretum Services Ltd (DECCO Ltd), the company states that the helipad will be used for private, day-time only flights and will not be used for commercial purposes. The helipad location was chosen for the natural higher elevation in that area, which would improve flight path clearances. In addition, the helipad has been positioned to avoid areas with dry forest growth.

The Department of Environment (DoE) has stated that it does not have any major ecological concerns about the project as there is a sufficient buffer between the proposed helipad location and Malportas Pond to the north and the Mastic Trail to the east. However, the department noted the nuisance to surrounding land users and residents of a helipad in this area.

The Dart company argued in its submissions that the helipad will have no effect on the traditional use of adjacent land or on its future development potential. “Due to the large parcel sizes, the helicopter will be in excess of 100’ in altitude prior to reaching a non-Dart parcel boundary,” the developer stated in the submissions. “Due to the large parcel size, the helipad will allow for one of the safest operation zones of any helipad on island.”

Dismissing the community’s concerns about any impact on the future development by adjacent landowners, the islands’ biggest landowner and developer said the current zoning for the area is limited to agriculture or residential with maximum height of three and four storeys.

However, in the submissions on behalf of his constituents, Miller pointed to the potential for volumetric parcels, a new planning feature that was created to accommodate Dart, and implied that the group was now trying to prevent his NS constituents from accessing the same type of privilege he was afforded.

Dart also dismissed any need for an access road to the helipad, despite safety concerns, noting that that the point was to access remote areas that are often unreachable by vehicle. “There are no regulations stipulating that an access road is required. However, in this instance, there is an existing marl road that is traversable by vehicle to access the helipad site,” Dart stated.

Defending its submission in response to recent enquiries from CNS, a spokesperson for the group said, “This will be used for private, day-time only flights and will not be used for commercial purposes. The proposed location utilises previously cleared land and was chosen for the natural higher elevation in that area, which will improve flight path clearances.”

See the full details of the application on the CPA Agenda in the CNS Library.

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Category: development, Local News

Comments (102)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    You don’t need an Ivy League education to know when you are being short-handed and taken advantage of. Period.

    I would know because I have one, and yes, I am a born and raised Caymanian.

  2. Cayman beach Karen says:

    Please Don’t blame Dart blame those who’s lazy and greedy asses sold the land so their offspring can live above their means.

  3. Cayman Bartender X says:

    Yes and of course a certain Cayman realestate company fronting it as usual run by a entire family of Pirates and profiteers.what new same shit different day yet a certain female member of this said company is always out crying down environmental damage and complaining about foreigners taking over Cayman . Well you can’t have both ways my deareee so you need to keep your hypocritical trap shut for once.

  4. Anonymous says:

    There is a company called FS.Inc that is approaching landowners including myself about buying large acres of our land..North Siders be careful, not sure who they are but there pockets are deep and they are like the devil with very tempting offers. Trust me whatever they ask for double it and add on 20%.

    They brought me some stupid valuation saying that my land was only worth a certain price and that was what they would be willing to pay. I looked at the real estate agent and laughed and said go back and tell him whoever it is to double it and add 20%. I didn’t think I would ever hear from them again but sure enough they were back with an offer for what I told them..My response to him, I wouldn’t care if it was 10 times the amount I am not selling my land. My land is for my children and grandchildren. It was passed down to me by my parents and I’ll be damn if some Johnny come lately is going to come here and demand i sell anything to him.

    People please don’t think because the come with one bag full of money that your land is only worth that..There is not much land in Cayman left and soon we are going to be put on a reservation to live. Lastly if the come with one bag, tell them you want ten.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good story. Trust me? Cayman is already a reservation for the 3rd worlders. What is happening here is the same thing all over the world. The smarter, better educated will take over and make the world a better place for the smarter, better educated (read employable) people. The not so smart people (we all know who you are) will spend their tiny bit of energy fighting this and perishing. Pick which side you would like to be on by what kind of education you get for yourself.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sadly, 85% of Caymanian educated folks have NO idea of what you just said… The dice has been thrown, and Caymanians have sold their souls (as in their heritage). So many have sold their property for a meat patty. Eat for a day, and they discovered they killed the golden goose.

    • Anonymous says:

      So you’re not saying “Caymanians please don’t sell your land to the greedy foreigner”
      You’re saying it’s ok to sell your birthright so long as you are screwing the foreigner.

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