Balboa’s ironshore slab heading back to CPA

| 16/07/2021 | 47 Comments
Cayman News Service
Balboa Beach development

(CNS): The ongoing controversial Balboa Beach project on the George Town waterfront will be going back before the Central Planning Authority for reconsideration of an after-the-fact grant of planning permission after a successful appeal by a neighbouring landowner. The Planning Appeals Tribunal released a ruling this week about the CPA’s decision to grant permission for a concrete slab poured on the ironshore because removing it might do even more harm than it had already caused. The PAT found that the CPA was wrong in law.

The tribunal said the CPA “erred when it deemed the non-removal of the slab as the basis of approval” because that was an issue of enforcement not a reason for approval.

The Waterfront Centre development, named Balboa Beach, has been the cause of a long-running dispute between the developer, Kel Thompson, and the neighbouring landowner, Chris Johnson, under the name Shireoak Ltd. Johnson has been challenging the project since the beginning, as it came before the CPA piecemeal over the last six years or more, with several elements being the subject of applications, modifications, after-the-fact applications, appeals, counter appeals and various controversies.

The relatively small property has given rise to a number of concerns in recent years, raising questions over why, after so many compliance violations and unheeded enforcement notices, work has been allowed to continue there with no apparent consequences. Last year, after this concrete slab had been given after-the-fact permission, other applications were refused but construction work on the shoreline carried on.

This slab was granted permission largely because the Department of Environment had pointed out that, despite the damage caused to the ironshore and marine environment, trying to remove it would simply be another environmental disaster. But the appeals tribunal pointed out that this was not sufficient reason to grant planning permission and that addressing the potential environmental problem of the slab was a separate consideration from whether or not the slab met planning laws and should or should not be given planning permission.

See the ruling in the CNS Library (scroll down to Balboa Beach).

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Category: development, Local News

Comments (47)

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  1. Watching Brief says:

    All a complete joke. Notwithstanding the recent Appeal decision, tonight they are holding a music function and using the retail office and the two slabs plus a bar in the car park. Does enforcement do anything on this island? This is making the new CPA look a complete joke, the laughing stock of Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Apart from the deviation from planning regulations, what needs to be aired is the apparent belief by some entitled wealthy, that the laws of the country do not apply to them.

      • Anonymous says:

        They don’t. The simple fact is that the civil service appear too inept or corrupt for consistent enforcement to be a thing.

      • Anonymous says:

        To resolve this they need to get rid of “after the fact” approvals. If it was approved, tear it down and put it back to the way it was..plain and simple.

    • anon against corruption says:

      CNS has hit it on the head with their “Head” line- dig up the “slab” and drop it at the CPA’s front door after9.00am so they can’t get out!.

  2. SSM345 says:

    Chris Johnson for Premier!

    • Anonymous says:

      Is that the same guy that tried to shut down the fish market?

      • Anonymous says:

        The CIG is moving the fish market buddy. Parking is bad there, causing traffic. They are moving up the road, better facility.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is his land he can do what he likes with it.

        • Anonymous says:

          Not true of ocean property with setbacks and more onerous duties and application processes. He knew all of this, and did it anyway.

          • Anonymous says:

            What do setbacks have to do with Chris removing squatters from his land?

            • Chris Johnson says:

              I think he was referring to the Thompson fiasco not my property. It is ironic that whilst the two slabs have been subject to the CPA and the Appeals Tribunal the concrete slab poured on the beach by the fishmongers has been conveniently overlooked. What is good for the goose is also good for the gander. Having said that it appears that the Thompson goose has been cooked for good.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well maybe enforce the same health and safety standards foe the fish market as restaurants. It’s nasty and unsafe to buy fish. A restaurant gets a warning foe not having records of fridge temp. Fish market has zero controls

    • Straightup says:

      That wil be the day when the breadfruits start flying! Oh and don’t eeeevrn think about pulling a Trump sah or ya will have missa loba hurry hurry come Fe ya!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Those that don’t follow procedures or application processes should be disqualified as land developers. Real Estate license should be pulled too. This recidivist is clearly no longer fit and qualified to operate in that arena. Imagine if this was a banker stealing client money, and putting it back after the fact, and pretending all was fine with that? There must be an example made, regardless of the surnames.

  4. Mrs Glum says:

    Good place to relocate the fish market. Parking, running water and toilets. Come on Kel give something back instead or taking.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Surely if these clowns can pour the cement before planning, there’s nothing to stop someone going round with a sledgehammer and removing it. Would be done in a day. I’m sure someone with the physique of Clubber Lang or Ivan Drago would be able to do the job.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Kel owns the land. Just Chris owns his 3rd world market. Let them build.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I will celebrate at sandbar! Awesome news! Down with developers who don’t care for cayman

  8. Anonymous says:

    After-the-fact approval soon come!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Mr Johnon for standing up for our rights. Due to the unaccessibility of Hog Sty Bay for swimming, the only place in town is the Thompson beach and your land where the fish market is. Unfortunately there is no access to your land because of the fishmongers who block the access. Government need do something about this. The property has been used by Caymanians to swim and keep their boats on the ironshore.
    Keep up the good work.

    • HJacques says:

      Wayne should have put you on the CPA board. You have the balls to check everything out just as you did on the CIFA fraud.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have (?) some fantastic little beaches and swim spots along there but they clean the fish down there in that water. The smell is revolting. You can even smell it if you are sitting along that railing at Cabana.
      Same at the likkle beach by the boat ramp at Lobster Pot.
      Absolutely untenable for humans to enjoy much of the waterfront beaches around town. It’s discouraging. Almost like they do not want you there at all.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The bandstand and illegal fencing remain on the slab and no doubt will continue to be used by the bar next door. CPA enforcement need move in now. By the way the fire department need look closely at this. In the event of a fire of the two buildings you need jump into the sea if you are in the bar or on the slab.
    New CPA please fix this.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians can’t complain when it’s one of their own wreckin’ the place!
    You should see how many of his brethren he hires at his EE “resort”…maybe Panton should start there in his “hire Caymanians first in tourism” mantra.

  12. Anonymous says:

    #Legge was right. Will any civil servants finally be held responsible, for anything?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Break it out. Do it carefully and the ironshore will be fine.

    • Anonymous says:

      16@4:46pm – Time-compressed and salt-hardened but that limestone ironshore could break depending on what size air hammer they use to dislodge the concrete pad.

    • Anonymous says:

      Selective non enforcement of rules does seem an issue…Just sayin…

  14. Anonymous says:

    Before you all attack…SPINELESS. I was so angry, and typed too fast!

  15. Anonymous says:

    SPINLESS enforcement. Laws need to change to confiscate the property if these people disregard laws.

    • Anonymous says:

      …and jail time without bond for repeat offenders.

      Only way they will learn it seems. If you can’t hear, you’ll feel.

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