Dart bound by Britannia homeowners’ rights

| 10/06/2021 | 276 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): Around two hundred owners of residential properties in what was once known as the Britannia Resort, off the West Bay Road and adjacent to Camana Bay, have won access rights following a major court decision published this week. Following a long running legal battle between homeowners and several Dart companies that wanted to shake off obligations to them that came with the acquisition of the old Hyatt Hotel and related properties, the developer is now required to provide beach and golf course access to them all.

The Dart Group bought the various properties and land in 2016 and a few years later filed suit to free itself from providing the access to recreational facilities that had come with the purchase of the homes.

Originally, the property in question had included the Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman hotel, which spanned across from Seven Mile Beach to the canals linked to the North Sound, and had included tennis courts, a golf course and the Britannia luxury development. When the homeowners purchased the properties, access to the beach, golf course, hotel facilities, tennis courts, the pool, spa and more were offered to them as part of the sale.

But the Dart companies, Cayman Shores Development Ltd and Palm Sunshine Ltd, had tried to argue that, as the new owner, the rights did not transfer and they had no obligations to these residents because the original Hyatt hotel was closed.

But the court disagreed. The court found that these were presented as a key attraction to purchasing in the Britannia Resort. “The right to play golf was expressly said to be transferable with the sale of a unit. There was never any suggestion that access to the Beach, the Golf Course at the centre of the development, or the ability to use the Tennis Courts could be terminated. Quite the contrary,” Justice Nicholas Segal wrote in what is likely to prove to be a significant judgment.

He ruled that the agreements were legally binding and Dart must honour the commitments made by the original landowners. The judge took the view that in the case of a grant of property rights without a time limit, “it will be difficult for a party to establish that the rights are in fact of limited duration or capable of termination, in the absence of clear words or a clear indication in the factual background to that effect”.

He found that Dart had been unable to demonstrate that the rights were of limited duration and were not mere licences, as they had tried to claim when they closed the golf course and then denied the residents access rights to the beach.

Segal also dealt directly with the controversial removal of some 27,000 sq.ft of turf from the Britannia golf club, which Dart dug up to use during the development of the Kimpton hotel. The judge said this had made the course unplayable, interfering with the legal rights of the Britannia owners. As a result, a separate hearing is expected to be fixed to establish how the homeowners can now be compensated. Dart has already closed the golf course and is unlikely to be able to reopen it without a significant investment, given that it has removed a significant amount of turf and planted trees in the area.

However, the residents will now have direct access to the beach once again. The Beach Suites has been redeveloped as the Palm Heights hotel, where the Britannia owners now all have access, the court found.

The ruling has wider implications as it also established that the Land Register should be rectified to add and include a reference to the rights as easements. The judge said the registrar had made a mistake of fact, but not law, when she failed to register the rights in the first place.

“This omission was made because the Registrar was not asked to register the Rights as easements and did not perform her own assessment as to whether the Instruments included easements; the reason why no application for registration of the Rights as easements was made was not clear from the direct evidence but I am satisfied that in all the circumstances it can be inferred that it was based on legal advice.”

This will have implications for all property owners who have access to beaches or other amenities. In a press release following the judgement, Walkers, who had represented many of the homeowners, said it was “one of the most significant pieces of local litigation heard in the Cayman Islands in many years”.

The lawyers pointed out that it involved the islands’ largest property developer on one side and around 200 residential owners at Britannia on the other. “The judge had to consider core principles of the jurisdiction’s land law in reaching his decision. This judgment provides substantial reassurance to residential owners as to the security of recreational and sporting property rights in the Cayman Islands, and gives valuable guidance on the construction and registration of restrictive agreements and easements,” Walkers stated.

While the court upheld the rights of the Britannia owners to use the golf course and the beach resort, the rights to the tennis courts, one of which is now under the Esterley Tibbetts Highway, are lost forever.

The full judgement is now available on the court’s public access portal search
FSD CAUSE NO: 143 OF 2019


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Comments (276)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Ken Dart will have allot more negative bad publicity coming his way as long as he does nothing about his upper management’s absolute incompetence which is truly evident in this case. Ken Darts needs to clean house because his upper management have absolutely no clue in handling and dealing with the public nor do they have any business sense. They were over 100% over budget on the Kimpton development, and now have turned the public and this country totally against Ken Dart. One of his top management is supposed to be qualified in law, and this case clearly shows her incompetence. As long as Ken Dart continues to employ these incompetent people he will get negative press and be embarrassed by them. I cannot believe how there is not one dynamic business professional amongst them all and they all have absolutely no clue about conducting honourable business as they are always playing games and their word means nothing because they never stand by their word or follow through with anything. Stay tuned because there is lots more to come in this case if they insist in appealing the judgement and lots more when the litigation on the cases of the 10 X historical rights of way to Seven Mile Beach start to be in the Headlines when in court. Ken you have brought all of this on yourself so clean house and have a reset of you organization which is incompetent and out of control. the Dart Kool Aid must be one hell of an additive drink.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you would like to observe some members of Dart Management they generally can be seen at 430 at one of the establishments in Camana Bay on Friday.

  2. Robert Mugabe IV says:

    Replace ‘Dart’ with Crighton, Thompson or whatever other local developer that has plundered our lands (with the knowledge they can never be stopped by the Comical Planning Authority) and you will have everyone crying because the grossly rich expat owners who live in Brittania are stopping our locals from developing their legally purchased land.
    We can’t have it both ways. Dart can just open the worst 9 hole golf course on the planet, and let’s see how the tune of Brittania folk will change.
    Other than that all they have to look forward to are astronomical strata fees.

    • Anonymous says:

      True, can dish it out but can’t take it back.

      Unfortunately, locals can complain until kingdom come and nothing is ever done about it. However, the moment that a foreigner with some money complains, people are falling over themselves to cater to them.

      Sadly, being Caymanian is no prize, because status is handed out like flyers to anyone that wants it. So people like Ken Dart and Michael Ryan can always use it as leverage against anybody that actually has the balls to stand up to his Doctor Octopus network of companies and friends in high places, foreigner or not.

    • Anonymous says:

      Flatten out the mounds, take out the landscaping trees and make it a par-25 pitch-and-putt with a couple of par 2s. And bring back the lame “Cayman ball.” That should fix them.

  3. Hopeful... says:

    Can we get West Bay Road back now?

  4. Bertie : B says:

    Golf Sucks , Football anyone ?

  5. Anonymous says:

    And only 18 comments on the Dump and proposed WtE plant. You people deserve what is coming.

    One would think that Britannia homeowners have enough intelligence to worry about Heath impacts of the Dump and proposed WtE plant, yet, only 18 comments. When one gets cancer, his homeowners’s rights suddenly won’t matter.

    What is the distance again from the Dump to Britannia?

  6. Anonymous says:

    It’s funny to read about the rich fighting the richer. Karma is a bitch and Murphy is right behind her. Now you know how the rest of us feels when we try to fight for our rights in this country.

    No pity for none of unna.

    • Anonymous says:

      What a stupid comment.

    • Hubert says:

      Which law firm represented Dart with this case?

      • Anonymous says:

        Mourants, but they were terminated a couple of months before the trial – probably because they told Dart they were in line for a hiding, which is what they got. Dart then made the hospital pass to Appleby.

        • Anonymous says:

          In other words, Appleby.

        • Anonymous says:

          Doesn’t dart have lots of in-house lawyers as well? They must have managed the whole thing

        • Hubert says:

          Wonder why when Dart knew they were in for a hiding they didn’t make an out of court settlement and save themselves a massive embarrassment?

          I have always thought that the weakest link in Dart’s operations is in public relations. Their public affairs team has been a disaster historically. So unnecessary for such a large company, especially one that is privately held.

          Damage control in major companies is a cornerstone of how modern corporations act and respond.

          • Anonymous says:

            a PR disaster!….what actually do all those PR and marketing staff do? Not a lot it seems!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Ignorance on full display

  7. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t Dart get compensation for the ETH going through the property and loss of the tennis court…was that ever passed on the the Britannia owners?

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t believe Dart’s fixer managed to swing that one.

    • Anonymous says:

      There was a right of way established for a future road at the time of getting planning permission for the hotel, which is why the strip was used for tennis courts and parking..

      • Anonymous says:

        AND … Dart didn’t own the property at the.time in any case

      • Chris Johnson says:

        That is interesting and begs the question. Were the Briitannia owners aware of this I wonder. Also was there an obligation on Hyatt to build a replacement court?

        • Anonymous says:

          A very good question Chris. I would be interested in the answer.

          • Anonymous says:

            Looks like by thumbs down, Chris that you are not popular.

            I have to say most points you raise are sensible and logical as your point above. So please carry on and ignore the ignoramus.

        • Anonymous says:

          When Dart purchased the hyatt they also got the the duty waivers which were part of the compensation package for the road. More secret deals?

      • Anonymous says:

        but the previous owner received compensation by way of duty concessions.. who owns that benefit now? Does that go with the land?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Dart does allot of good things too, however what is sad is that the bad things will be remembered and will far out weigh all the good Dart may do. All this negative publicity which will stay on the web for ever is a huge embarrassment to Dart and heads should roll for the absolute incompetence of the top two leaders in upper management of the Dart organization. Their incompetence is staggering the way this was all handled and Dart needs to clean house and really shake up upper management of his organization. The 1st defendant in this case was the CI Government which is biting the hand that feeds you in all that you do. This is how bold and arrogant Dart really is in this case in that he thinks he can buy and sell Cayman many times over so this island nation is his and he can do anything he wants, like dismantling Cayman’s Land and Title Laws. You should thank the CI Govt and the people of Britannia for standing up against this greedy and reckless organization from running rough shot over our rights and our laws in their quest to dominate and take over our country. Thank you Britannia.

    • Anonymous says:

      The people of Britannia and the Courts stood up to Dart.
      The CI Government is in his pocket. He owns them.

      Do not confuse the court system with our elected officials.

      • Anonymous says:

        I thought it was PPM he owned, and this lot were elected to save us…
        PACT will soon fall in line and enjoy the benefits of not biting the hand that feeds them.

        • Anonymous says:

          PPM is still in his pocket..They got pompous and arrogant and got their asses kicked to the curb.

          Dart, CUC and the many developers supporting the PPM poured on the money but it didn’t work..surprised the hell out of Alden..He thought he had bought and paid for some of the independents but it backfired. The people found their voice this time around.

    • Cayman Ebanks says:

      i agree – if dealt with some of the leaders at Dart and (most) of them are complete morons. In any other place in the world, these fools would not be in upper leadership

      • Anonymous says:

        I hate saying this but we do not have much choice. Caymanians position is “the devil you know” kind of thing.

        We need our youth to get involved.
        Soon come… It is almost too late!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Land mark case. Long awaited decision.now the registrar of lands must deal with the 500 affidavits access registration forthwith. There is no short cut way out of this now. Caymanians and residents have no reason to be denied beach access. No need to shut up the concerned citizen group they have been right all along that the registrar of lands failed to register the beach accesses. Now the government has proven to have acted stupidly or advised wrongly. As a country we need to look at the role of advise as to who caused such a failure as 500 claims are pending registration.a penal code charge may need to be taken.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The Cayman Islands urgently needs a basic Landlord and Tenancy law that protects and honours Tenant Rights, not just the deep-pocketed acquiring belligerent nominee companies of some overlord. We are just scratching the surface of the real problem, and it’s much bigger than this Britannia condo owner skirmish.

    • Anonymous says:

      Landlord & Tenants Law has sat gathering dust since 2009. Never enacted. Why?

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry, but what has landlord and tenant law got to do with the Dart-Britannia dispute?

      Good gracious, the level of ignorance in these posts is shocking. And these people presumably have the vote and are allowed to operate machinery…

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thank you 1:53. It’s amazing how many Caymanians born in Ireland, Britain, Canada, US, Norway India we have living in exclusive communities like Vista Del Mar, Yacht Club and Grand Harbour for example. Good for the statistics and posters like 8:43!!

    • Anonymous says:

      80% of those commenting on this article are lawyers born elsewhere who want to gleefully pat themselves on the back and claim this is something really good for Caymanians. This is good for their self-important egos and pockets, but the whole thing was just a pissing match between rich people.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Can Dart not simply install one golf hole and develop the rest of the land? Did the originally covenant explicitly state the number of holes?

    • Dart Vader says:

      Great idea! Thank you, my young apprentice #2!

    • Anonymous says:

      At the time of getting planning permission, all of the entire parcel’s ‘permissible (units and bedroom count) development’ was used up.
      The vacant portion of golf course cannot be developed unless Dart increases its area by attaching an adjacent parcel to it, thereby increasing it’s size.

    • Anonymous says:

      They can just put a simulator in one of the old hotel building shells and be done.

    • Anonymous says:

      Legally one golf hole is not a golf course. Dart would need to do at least 9 holes.

  13. Anonymous says:

    That’ll be the old Hyatt staying like a skeleton for the foreseeable then..

    Dart will appeal and this will rumble on for a while no doubt. But even if he loses, he’ll just have to give the residents some compensation which he probably has down the back of his sofa anyway.

    Nice to see them not get their way just for once though.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you’re right. Sadly, that eyesore will be around for a very long time.

      • Anonymous says:

        Government/planning have the right to enforce the “abandoned buildings” law with attendant daily fines.
        Let’s see if they have what it takes …and if you know who would be willing to risk it..

        • Anonymous says:

          They didn’t bother for the first ten years when Dart was not the owner. Difficult to justify now.

          • Anonymous says:

            That’s because we were waiting to see if the hotel would ever reopen. The story was insurance legal disputes for several years after Ivan.

            • Anonymous says:

              Nonsense. The previous owner started a project to convert the rooms into suites (which was what gutted the front rooms facing ETH) and then changed his mind because of cost. By that time, the Hyatt had pulled it’s name from the property long ago.

        • Anonymous says:

          Are you crazy and loose all those materials sales and roofing jobs?????

      • Anonymous says:

        I believe it is $25K per day multiplied by about 5 years which would be a nice windfall if spent appropriately

        • Anonymous says:

          Just bill it back to the Britannia owners.

        • Anonymous says:

          Think you would have to issue a notice first, then start the clock when the owner didn’t comply. Issuing a fine because you could have issued a notice 5 years ago – but didn’t – doesn’t really work.

    • Hubert says:

      Dart will now attempt to wage a legal war of attrition against the Britannia group.

      The appeals are coming.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Spin it all off into a shell company many layers away from Dart.
    Go bankrupt. sort out the agreements and buy it back.
    Simple.

    • Anonymous says:

      The judge has made it clear the rights attach to the land, so that doesn’t work. That was basically Darts defence to start with – that he had acquired the land free of the obligations because they weren’t registered.

      • Anonymous says:

        Britannia owners say they had rights because those who sold them the condos told them they did and, for a while, they did indeed have those rights.
        Dart comes along 12 years after the place was destroyed and buys a property based on what the Land Register said, which indicated no rights to the Britannia owners.
        Since the Land Register is supposed to be the gold standard here, can anyone really blame Dart for not wanting to accept something after the fact?
        If this is just a matter of the Registrar of Lands making a huge mistake, then why wouldn’t the government be liable for this debacle?

        • Anonymous says:

          Rights do not have to be be registered to exist. English lawyers understand that. American lawyers don’t.

        • Anonymous says:

          If that is truly the case this could cost CIG hundreds of millions (but under the PPM Government) L&S dept is a complete S-show

        • Anonymous says:

          The Land Register doesn’t record beach access rights either. Still so keen on people acquiring land being able to rely on the Register?

        • Anonymous says:

          Dart had outside advice that because the rights weren’t properly registered they could buy the property, do what they wanted with it and if challenged just go to court to be declared free. That has not worked.

          • Anonymous says:

            Anyone who knows English Land law knew he would lose and that his money was being wasted. Some even said so but were ignored.

        • Anonymous says:

          If you choose to be all sneery and sarky and know-all, you really do need to get your basic facts right. The register DID contain the Britannia owners’ rights! That’s the whole point! Dart thought they could buy the land still subject to them and then argue later that they were invalid. A high-risk strategy, unless they were negligently advised at the time.

        • Anonymous says:

          You forget that Britannia paid monthly fees for the rights since inception and continued to pay after Dart purchased the property.

          • John Ebanks says:

            really?

          • Anonymous says:

            But they weren’t paying it to Dart were they?

            • Anonymous says:

              No because under English law they remain payable to the original grantor of the rights and do not pass on to new owners when the property sells. Such a conveyance (1909) still exists on my UK property.

              • Anonymous says:

                I am confused. Are you saying the Britannia owners are paying fees to maintain the golf course to the original owner of the property even though that person/entity doesn’t own it anymore and doesn’t have the legal responsibility to actually maintain the golf course? That seems crazy to me.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like a sub plot in a bad American TV series. Then “fly down to the Caymans and collect the cash”. Fortunately it doesn’t work, as the case decided…

  15. Anonymous says:

    Dart will probably purchase the rights to the “air parcel” over the golf course and charge fees for anyone wishing to swing golf clubs into his air.

  16. Anonymous says:

    keep selling cayman.to dart..ya all na see nuttin yet…just keep selling…

    • MyCayman says:

      Unfortunately for us peons, Dart has enough; his future acquisitions are just frosting. He doesn’t need any of us any more. Bush sold us out and there is no unringing of that bell.

  17. Anonymous says:

    As happy as I am for Dart to get a black eye, I can’t help but wonder if this is the best outcome. As usual a lot of the problem in this case was how Dart went about things – without discussion, respect, seeking consensus, always trying to create a fait accompli and new status quo that can’t be undone so as to prevent the court having any power to order it to fix its actions. If you were not sure before you can see now that they do not care at all and they want every parcel they purchase razed to the ground so that it can be assigned as the site for the latest fever-dreamt building one of their designers hallucinated. They do not care at all. They declared the course dead when it was still playable, then made it completely unplayable knowing these 200 owners were arguing they had the right still to play. Here is your proof if you needed it that they do not care if you are 2 or 200, you are getting out of their way. Not so fast for right now. As for whether this is the best outcome, that depends on what the owners decide to do, and what Dart now decides to do. If this decision stands and both parties stick with their current positions as a result of this judgment, you will either have more derelict prime land or a barely-playable course maintained by the owners.

    • Anonymous says:

      Here, I fixed your comment;

      As usual a lot of the problem in this case was how Dart went about things – without respect, not seeking consensus, always trying to create a fait accompli and new status quo that can’t be undone so as to prevent the court having any power to order it to fix its actions. If you were not sure before you can see now that they do not care at all and they want every parcel they purchase razed to the ground so that it can be assigned as the site for the latest fever-dreamt building one of their designers hallucinated. They do not care at all. They declared the course dead when it was still playable, then made it completely unplayable knowing these 200 owners were arguing they had the right still to play. Here is your proof if you needed it that they do not care if you are 2 or 200, you are getting out of their way.

      Because it doesn’t matter what anyone decides to do, this was still the best outcome. No matter what.

      • Anonymous says:

        My comment didn’t need fixing and I’ve never had the indignity of someone else pretending to fix something I’ve said. Next time state your own opinion. I said what I said.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Great judgement. It has implications for the population at large not only for the Brittania residents. For instance the residents of Patrick Islands in Red Bay want to put up two gates to block public access on Poindexter Road, a public road used to access schools, sporting facilities, commerce, etc. for over 20 years.
    I understand that adjacent neighbors have registered easements over the properties, however, Patrick Island residents still want to block the access.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds to me like they need to take down the gates at Webster’s Estates as well.

      • Anonymous says:

        Correct. If there are easements with rights they should.

        • Anonymous says:

          I’ve been collecting Halloween candy in there for 30 years, so yes, I have rights.

          • Anonymous says:

            Yes, if you have an easement with Halloween candy rights, you do.

          • Anonymous says:

            I’ve been cutting through Webster’s Estates from Walkers Road to South South Road for 18 years. I have right, too!

            • Anonymous says:

              You have been trespassing on a private road. Where do we send the bill for your use and wear and tear. Oh, wait. You have the right to use private property and not pay. I get it. No. I don’t. Suck it up, the owners had enough and now you can cry away. Or, if you want, theee are a couple houses for sale in there and you are welcome to buy rights, just like the Brittania owners….

          • Anonymous says:

            I appreciate your sarcasm, but some will assume you are a 30 plus kid

          • Anonymous says:

            30 years ago there were two or three houses. Me thinks the sugar has you exaggerating. Note most owners stopped giving out candy when the general public started treating it like a free for all. Kind of like the road, really. These days it is a free for all and now the foot had]s come down, I guess, and we all suffer for the greedy and abusive ones actions…

        • Anonymous says:

          But there aren’t. The owners tolerated speeders, thieves, and other miscreants until they were pushed so far they had to pay out to protect their rights with physical gates. If people just respected other peoples property, and didn’t use private roads as a cut through all the time, I suspect the owners would have been happier not to spend their money…. Just sayin….

      • Anonymous says:

        But who is going to challenge all the rich people who live in Webster’s Estates?

        • Anonymous says:

          Which is EXACTLY why selling this as a big victory precedent for Caymanians is legal hogwash.

        • Anonymous says:

          Rich? Hardly. Wealthy, maybe. Worked for it – mostly yes. And apparently you feel you can ride the coat tails doing nothing and use their private property…. Ok, explain that one to me?

    • Anonymous says:

      Gated communities on an island this size is out and out snobbery. If we had a massive issue with burglary then MAYBE but we don’t. This place is turning very quickly into mini Miami. And the poorer for it.

      • Anonymous says:

        9:12am – Completely NOT true and ignorant of the crime that goes on here.
        Since 1990 I have been broken into 11 times. throughout different areas that I have lived/rented here. Once even by my own landlord when he knew I was off island.
        The police take fingerprints and you never hear from them again.

        I personally saw a video (ring doorbell) of the shameful teenage criminal vandals that went through Webster Estates doing extensive damage to property. THIS is why they finally decided to gate the property.
        I don’t blame them!!

        Place isn’t turning into Miami, it is turning into another 3rd world Caribbean island that will soon require bars on every window.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I suspect that unless Dart wants to appeal, Dart will just provide a cash settlement, which I assume the majority of the owners will want to accept.

    Golf course – even if it was “restored”, it will cost a million or two a year to maintain, which I doubt owners will want to pay for the use of a 9-hole pitch and put course.

    Beach facilities – the Palm Heights hotel beach is packed with rowdy Sunday brunchers, and when the borders open, hotel guests. And you generally can use the area anyway already if you buy a drink or two and some snacks. It is not really that appealing.

    • Anonymous says:

      The cost of maintaining Britannia golf was largely funded out of the high rolling Hyatt stay-over tourists who wanted to play on their visit , Condo strata-fees & with the restaurant augmenting that, but with its own costs alone. But back in the Halcyon days of the 80’s & 90’s , The Links ( Now N.S.) also gave the option for 18 holes at a then minimal cost per round , over what we pay today. The blinding / eye watering costs to get something done here today would be the killer I suspect.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not sure that a “majority” is sufficient. I think in this case that it would have to be unanimous.

      Otherwise your comments are spot-on. These rights used to be exclusive, like the original Hemingway’s Restaurant. Now they’re just rights to join raucous drunken South Africans and Brits on the beach.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s deliberate. If Dart had won, it would all change.

  20. Anonymous says:

    One big reason I would never buy in a mixed use resort. At least the owners in Birtinnia have homes separate from the rest of the property. What will happen to the poor fools who purchased multimillion dollar condos at the Ritz when it closes down? They would be stuck maintaining the entire property or have to walk away from their investment. I assume this has already happened to anyone who bought units at the old Treasure Island.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is the whole point of this Landmark case and it was not just Britannia it was also the CI Govt who also were defendants in this case because Dart is so bold he took the CI Govt to court in the same case. Dart was trying to dismantle our lands and title laws in his efforts to extinguish registered rights and easements on the land registry. Britannia at enormous expense have done a great favour to the country as this case will also protect the owners at the Ritz and the 10 historical ROW accesses to SMB which Dart is trying remove.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t think it is a hotel anymore. I was told the units were sold as residences.

      If anyone knows, please feel free to post.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Just make it a free, walking only course for the public and bill then the upkeep. Three holes should be enough. They’ll soon change their minds.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Yes, a tear rolled down my cheek, when I read these poor people were not able to play golf and to go to the beach they had to use public access beaches.

    • Anonymous says:

      All beaches are public access, moron.

      • Anonymous says:

        Only from the sea side and through designated access, moron x2

      • Anonymous says:

        They should be but have you ever tried to access all the beaches? Most are locked off by development now and considered private (you can’t go through people’s yard to access them).

        • Anonymous says:

          The barriers to reasonable access and peaceable enjoyment are unlawful. Anyone trying to prevent my exercise of lawful rights is left in no doubt.

    • Jotnar says:

      You do realize it’s about whether developers are bound to respect legal rights of land use because they haven’t been recorded in the Register. That irrespective of whether the plaintiffs here are millionaires the principles established affect us all, right? That in principle there isn’t a lot of difference between Dart ignoring the Britannia residents rights and a developer ignoring unregistered covenants such as access rights or beach access? Surely you are not so blinded by envy or contempt for those wealthier than yourself to miss that? But hey, if it’s all about the money, then why are you siding with the billionaire?

      • Agree With Jotnar says:

        Thank you for verbalizing what so many seem unable to see!

      • Anonymous says:

        I hate to break it to you, but anyway you look at it, this story is about rich people’s problems.The word “covenant” is a dead giveaway that this issue doesn’t really apply to most of us. I have to side with the OP’s point, even if I can’t make a tear of sarcastic sadness roll down my cheek. Although, I must say, thinking about how this “victory” by the Britannia owners could cause their strata fees to triple might cause a torrent of laughter tears to flood my cheek!

        • Anonymous says:

          AND there will be some who live there currently who can barely afford the strata fees as they are now.

        • Anonymous says:

          You clearly don’t understand the significance of the case and benefit of the judgement for the rest of us. It wasn’t just Britania but also CIG vs Dart. The only thing anyone is laughing at is your ignorance.

          • Anonymous says:

            It has absolutely no significance and benefit to anyone but rich people and lawyers, the latter of which, you clearly are.

            • Anonymous says:

              Read Jotnar at 9:48

            • Anonymous says:

              This is a short sighted view.
              This ruling has wider implications for the land registry and the legal system. It certainly has potential a great number of people in the future.
              An automatic bias against people wealthier than yourself is not a reason to minimize this court decision.

            • Anonymous says:

              Fortunately just the former but do carry on parading your ignorance like a fool.

  23. Anonymous says:

    What a bizarre ruling. Are Dart forced now to reopen the golf course? Surely you cannot force anybody to operate anything they don’t not wish to operate? Otherwise we’re all capable of being directed to act against our desires, it’s so strange.
    If Dart is forced to restore the golf course to how it was, but not forced to operate it, what has Britannia won? Effectively nothing as there’s no way Britannia’s owners are going to pay millions each year to run it

    It simply doesn’t make any sense, wonder how qualified the lawyers were to allow the judge to find himself in position where he has to make such a judgement, he must see the nonsense in it also

    As to beach rights – if Dart wanted to knock down the beach hotel and build a private home, do the Britannia owners all have rights to use that homes chairs and pool? Again this ruling seems so opposed to common sense.

    Good luck to Britannia but I suspect this case is far from
    Over…Dart hasn’t been told he can’t develop the lands so there goes the golf course.

    What a strange decision….saying a home is sold with a marketing persuasion to play golf for ever is nonsensical. Just like now they’re selling condos with $rental returns promised….if they don’t come to realization, can all the buyers of the new Grand Hyatt sue? Of course not

    • Anonymous says:

      Not strange at all. If you bought a house with a shared pool which you had a right to use and the developer then sold the pool to someone else, do you imagine the new owner has the right to fill it in and build another house there? Obviously not. Same deal with Britania. I’m generally supportive of darts projects but they are bang to rights here; they just assumed they could legally bully their way forward but got their a55 handed to them, quite rightly.

    • Anonymous says:

      The main point is not the golf course, so much as owners continuing to enjoy open green views, and not the car parks of Dart’s concrete boxes.

      • Anonymous says:

        Pretty sure you can blame CIG for their absurd parking requirements and ourselves for being car-centric.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dart are obliged to put the course back to what it was. It’s then up to the residents to pay for its upkeep, and if they don’t, that’s in them. Who are you to assume that the residents associations won’t take it on, ramp up the strata fees and do it? The increase of n the value of their property may well be worth it. Of course the alternative is that they agree that Dart doesn’t have to do it and he pays them compensation ( which they wouldn’t have got without the ruling). Personally I suspect membership at North Sound and a cash hand out are the likely ways forward – the cost of restoring the course for Dart would be high, but not as high as the list development value of the land, and paying strata fees including a golf course would probably be prohibitive for a lot of the Britannia owners.

      • Anonymous says:

        Britannia’s looking a little weathered these days anyways. Needs a facelift. IMO

      • Anonymous says:

        I didn’t think the Britannia owners have to pay anything. Nothing in the covenant’s to say they have to contribute for repairs etc

    • Anonymous says:

      Never be a lawyer.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Already looks like Dart supporters are gearing up for an assault via social media. Watch out for an appeal.

    • Anonymous says:

      First the judge who ruled boss Dart will wind up leaving and the appeal will go the way boss Dart wants. The powers that be will claim that it is required to maintain the much needed development in Cayman and the Dart lovers will claim that all Dart does is great & quality projects. Another word – money talks and bulls$#t walks!

      • Anonymous says:

        If there is an appeal it will go to the Court of Appeal. a bench entirely sticked with UK judges who wont give a rats ar$3 about a Cayman billionaires wants.

        • Anonymous says:

          You’re right. A Privy Council precedent on this exact point of law already exists. Dart cannot distinguish from that position on any point of law. Wasting his money but will probably spend it anyway as they like to get their own way, no matter what.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Looks like Goliath went up against David.. an all the money in the world didn’t help Goliath win.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well Goliath in this case was facing a David which included a significant number of senior lawyers and personally wealthy people individuals. The mangroves at the Yacht Club won’t be as fortunate.

    • Anonymous says:

      Goliath is no done yet by any means. When you have that kind of power and money, things will change – unfortunately.

    • Anonymous says:

      David? lol, we’re talking cumulatively about a good number of disgustingly rich people taking on another disgustingly rich person. There is no David and Goliath here

  26. Anonymous says:

    wow…britannia owners going to live to regret this. their strata fees now going to treble…..
    be careful what you wish for…

    • Anonymous says:

      Their strata fees are already insanely high and include the golf course and beach access which they haven’t been able to use.

    • Anonymous says:

      no, they are not.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, they are.

        • Anonymous says:

          I speak with a certain degree of authority over this matter.

          Not least, Dart is about to be hit for millions in costs that will go back into the Strata’s accounts.

          Walkers don’t come cheap!

    • Anonymous says:

      More like cash compensation from Dart so he doesn’t have to restore the course and can build on it.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Yes!!!!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone think this is really over ? – remember this is a chap who had an Argentinian naval training vessel detained and also tried to keep their presidential plane grounded in order to cash in on a billion

  29. Anonymous says:

    Ken. Get control of your dogs. Your investments are worth little without the Caymanian people, and the environment facilitated by them. You may not have noticed, disaffection is growing quickly.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Joy, but a frightening insight as to their views on beach access rights generally.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Super happy I sold my Britannia property to that sucker before this ruling. Saved me a fortune.

    • Anonymous says:

      not really…you lost a fortune… judging by recent sales.

      • Anonymous says:

        Market has topped out and about to crash. I made my exit at just the right time.

        • Randy Savage says:

          This is too true! Especially with all the false claims of “70% sold out” meanwhile advertising their guts out on ecaytrade to make a sale!

          Don’t you see the sheer number of newly imported “qualified real estate agents” with “overseas experience” selling “estates and mansion” in hicksville.

          • Anonymous says:

            Honestly, there should be a ban on work permits for anyone employed in real estate companies, local banks, and any form of HR department.

            I heard it is working wonders in Bermuda.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Dart so deserved this decision.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Dart legal got that one wrong.

    • Anonymous says:

      No they took outside advice. Those lawyers won’t be sleeping well.

      • Anonymous says:

        A good legal team should intimately know the case and applicable law. They would have known from the outset this case had 0% prospects of success. They would have known to challenge any advice from external counsel accordingly. Unfortunately some people seem to think if you throw enough money at something it will go away.

  34. Gray Matter says:

    Dart is going to have this tied up in court for years.. he will tr6 to exhaust their funds.and drag this out.

    • Anonymous says:

      You greatly underestimate the wealth of a number of people in Britannia.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think you’re underestimating how much a billion really is. And how many billions Dart has.

        • Anonymous says:

          Underrated comment.

        • Anonymous says:

          it doesn’t matter. An appeal is a fraction of the trial, and he doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Plus they are just going to go after him for costs, Dart having to pay the owners of Britannia will really piss him off and hopefully he’ll fire the incompetent people that chose to drive this ill-advised strategy forward!

        • Anonymous says:

          Past a certain point it doesn’t really help. There are only so many lawyers you can cram in a courtroom!

    • Anonymous says:

      More than enough wealthy and lawyers in Brittania happy to go toe to toe with Dart. He’s also trying to bully hundreds of people and their friends with the disposable income who he expects to frequent his properties… this fight has probably already cost him far more than his legal bill!

      • Anonymous says:

        Apparently many are commenting on this story while drooling over their keyboards.

      • Anonymous says:

        Dart has most of the firms under retainer, so probably not as many as you might imagine.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well I hope they can keep it up. If this gets appealed all the way to Privy council Dart will still lose.

  35. Pastor Alfredo says:

    Government built the Esterly Tibbetts highway across the tennis courts and the Britannia residents’ rights to use the tennis courts were “extinguished forever”.

    So Dart should just build a couple of roads through the greens on the golf course and then Britannia residents’ rights to use the golf course are “extinguished forever” as well, surely?

    Jack Nicklaus would be proud.

    Pastor Alfredo

    • Anonymous says:

      When did DART become, or have the same rights as the Government?…You do know the PPM is no longer in power, right?

    • no nonsense says:

      You truly are ignorant.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dumb post. As usual.

    • Anonymous says:

      True, but then he would have to pay compensation.

    • Anonymous says:

      You know the tennis courts were built where they were because in the 1980’s the government had the foresight to insist on a road corridor through that area of the development, and the developers agreed before anything was built, right?

      • Anonymous says:

        That didn’t stop the second owner of the hotel from trying to stop it!

      • Anonymous says:

        And the hotel owners got compensated for the road…where is that now?

        • Anonymous says:

          He took that and his insurance settlement – which was more than he paid for the hotel I believe – and then dumped the mess on Dart. Dart truly got suckered on this one, partially because of bad legal advice.

  36. No more running ripshod over people says:

    A win for the people for a change. Mr Dart might think twice and put arrogance back in his pocket the next time as the winds of change are favouring the people over mega developers.

  37. Anonymous says:

    I think it needs to be made clear that after paying damages or an order to restore the golf course, the ongoing cost of operation is the responsibility of the Britannia owners not Dart.

    • Anonymous says:

      It would substantially be the responsibility of the hotel which should have been redeveloped years ago. Why has that not been forced?

    • Anonymous says:

      read the judgement. That’s not what it says. And to leave it as it is being a green space with a grass cut every month is only a couple of grand, split between 200 owners… it’s a drop in the lake on the 9th!

      • Anonymous says:

        You have to water grass for it to live, particularly between December and May. That will cost way more than a couple of grand split between 200 owners.

  38. Anonymous says:

    This is good news for Cayman if you have had any dealings with this group you soon discover their true nature is one of domination disrespect entitlement and focus of the almighty dollar. I’m of the view the individual himself is now captive of these bottom feeders he has attracted which are all non caymanian an only look to make as much as they can for themselves and those they hand pick to join their commun. Kinda reminds me of Jones Town tbh … scary but the brainwashing that occurs is frightening. When you hear them start the Dart-talk you realise it is all scripted indoctrination. Don’t believe a single word uttered as the level of paranoia is likened to a mad man ….

  39. Anonymous says:

    This was well played by Dart. Now the money pit golf course can be reopened at the expense of Britannia stratas.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s theirs, so why not.. they don’t have to open up to everyone and can make it exclusive the the residents. I see nothing wrong with it..DARt had no business tearing it up…damn bully!

      • Anonymous says:

        Except it’s not theirs.

      • Anonymous says:

        Public Open Space. Google is your friend.

      • Anonymous says:

        That is not quite correct. It is not “theirs”; the land is owned by Dart. What is “theirs” is access to use a golf course owned by another party (ie, they own access rights).

        The tricky legal part is if the owner no longer operates a golf course on the land it owns, then the access rights are somewhat worthless. They have access rights to a non-operational golf course.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, with maintenance fees of 20k per owner per year. They can afford it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well played? Nope, he tried to bully them and assumed they would cave but they didn’t. I hope damages are painful.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Time to shake up the management of the Dart organization and replace people who have no clue and are over their heads with a total absence of any business sense.

    • Anonymous says:

      He’ll just bring in more arrogant idiots.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hush you mout bro…can’t say that about she who must be obeyed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dart group could have kept the old golf facilities running and showed good will to both Britannia as well as other residents who wished to play. It could have been offered for less cost per round as an incentive, offered to get young Caymanians into the sport and those that can’t afford the high cost of The Ritz or North Sound ( which he owns already and makes money on). The entire organization is out of touch with the majority of Caymans populace and now just as greedy as hell . Court case has revealed them an arrogant bunch in the eyes of a lot of people here. Congratulations to Britannia on the outcome and respect to Maples for seeing it to the conclusion .

    • Anonymous says:

      Bunch of sellouts in there. They know who them is. Big head one ya.

    • Anonymous says:

      They may have business sense. It is common sense (and neighborly decency) that appear lacking on this one.

    • JTB says:

      It’s not business sense they lack. It’s the moral kind which is missing

  41. Anonymous says:

    Dart should be made to restore the golf course to its condition before he dug it up.

    Glad to know that someone actually had the determination to stand up to him and am ecstatic that they won.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Damn fools. Come see how much their strata bill going be now.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Who cares what problems these rich foreigners have with their elite properties? 99% of the rest of us in Cayman struggle just to pay our mortgages, get potholes fixed, get derelict cars removed from the roadsides and from low class properties, control feral dogs running around, control feral children running around, leave home two hours before we are due to be at work because the road system for the non elites is so stinking bad.

    • Anonymous says:

      Pure luxury, I had to wake up half an hour before I went to bed this morning.

      • Anonymous says:

        You were lucky to have a bed! We all shared one hole on the beach that we had to dig out every day to stop the waves washing it away!

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactleh!! I’m trying to find the point.

    • Anonymous says:

      You have absolutely no clue what you are talking about. The first defendant was the department of lands and survey. Dart was challenging the department of lands and survey on how access rights including beach access rights are registered. If the residents of britannia did not fund the defense of these rights then who would?

    • Common sense prevails says:

      This is a typical crab in a bucket attitude.
      While this particular judgment might not benefit you immediately, It certainly has wider implications across the country and is a victory for the rule of law. We should be satisfied that the legal system works and doesn’t serve only the wealthiest just because they can afford any lawyer they want.
      Not withstanding that several residents are local, we should all be happy that a sound system exists to uphold the laws of our chosen residence.

    • Anonymous says:

      Most of the rich foreigners can’t vote, so all of the problems you describe fall at the feet of the duly elected CIG, voted in by Caymanians.

      • Anonymous says:

        Shhh! They don’t like it when you point that out. And that all their land was sold by their forefathers to the ‘elite.’ Convenient amnesia.

    • Anonymous says:

      So you’re OK with Dart and don’t care that someone (who could afford it) stood up against him, and won?

    • Anonymous says:

      You should care because if the people who own at Brittania were unsuccessful at challenging Dart, what hope would there be for anyone else on the island including the concerned citizens group fighting for all the public beach accesses on behalf of the general public.
      The legal issue is why you should care, not what the specific amenity it is that they are enforcing the contractual agreement of.

    • Anonymous says:

      You do realize that as Caymanians this will help not only the Brittania residents but the average Caymanian as well. This is record setting precedent and anyone trying to do as they please with prescriptive rights such as the beach accesses will think twice about it now..

      Thank you Brittania Residents for holding DART’s feet to the fire..

      • Anonymous says:

        Only for rich people with enough money to sue. Quit trying to sell this as a big win for Caymanians. Unless there are a group of rich people willing to hold developers accountable, your precious precedent is of no value. In most cases, developer will just continue to do whatever they want to do.

    • Anonymous says:

      You get what you vote for.

    • Anonymous says:

      Guess you should of worked harder and pay more attention on school. Nothing is for free and if you want something you got to work for it!
      Simple

    • Anonymous says:

      Rich foreigners???? you are clearly showing discrimination and racism in this remark, so get your facts right for the majority of the owners are Caymanian.

    • Anonymous says:

      Such a hater

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