Boggy Sand Beach cabana project ‘futile’

| 30/08/2021 | 26 Comments
Cabana at Boggy Sand Beach

(CNS): The Department of Environment has once again directed the Central Planning Authority not to grant planning permission to the owners of a cabana and seawall on Boggy Sand Beach in West Bay to build any structure on the property. After failing to get planning permission in April to pull down the existing cabana and sea wall, which are falling into the water, and build a house on the site, the owners have submitted another application, this time to build a two-storey cabana.

But in its advice to the CPA, the DoE has said it is “futile to try to permit further development on this problematic site”, and has advised a “managed retreat” in the area to protect the much older adjoining house.

The site has become emblematic of poor planning decisions, as the site has been falling into the sea almost since the time it was built because it was constructed on a dynamic beach very close to the water’s edge.

“It is very clear that this site is not a good location for built development and the seawall probably should never have been granted planning permission a decade ago,” the DoE said in its latest submissions to the CPA, which is scheduled to hear the application on Wednesday. “It is evident that within a very short period the structure is failing, partly due to an inappropriate design and partly due to its position in an inappropriate location.”

The DoE said that in this case all structures need to be removed and a properly designed wall built for the protection of the adjoining house, with appropriate tie-in to both the sheet-piled government seawall installed along Mary Molly Hydes Road and the sea wall of the adjacent house, which could see the recovery of the beach.

The site is also in a marine park and the DoE made it clear that nothing more should be built on this site. Exercising the powers delegated by the National Conservation Council under the National Conservation Act, DoE Director Gina Ebanks-Petire directed the CPA to refuse planning permission on the basis that the proposed development will result in the detrimental alteration of a Marine Protected Area and the environment generally, including the turtle nesting habitat, as outlined in the technical review.

A recent decision by the Planning Appeals Tribunal overturned a direction from the NCC, made through the DoE, that was given to the CPA regarding the controversial Balboa Beach project. This brought into question the legal right of the DoE to make such a direction, even in circumstances like this one, and undermined the spirit of the conservation law and the PACT Government’s commitment to sustainable development.

But at the last NCC meeting, the council ratified a motion to make it clear that it can delegate its authority to the DoE director to issue binding instructions to other government agencies.

The owner is due to attend the CPA meeting, when the application will be discussed with regard to the history of the site and the request for the high water mark and other setback variances, as well as the legality of DoE directives in light of the recent PAT decision.

While last April the DoE directed the CPA to refuse the application for a house, it was clear that the CPA chair at the time refused the application in any event because of the problems associated with the site and the lack of justification to waive any of the setbacks.

See Wednesday’s CPA agenda here.

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Category: development, Local News

Comments (26)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Finally common sense has prevailed and the application has been approved. Well done CPA.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Planning should seek an order to have the building torn down. It has become dangerous and could collapse any time.
    Planning need to inspect the captain Ebanks building before certificate of oppuancy is given. The down stairs balcony is overhanging over the road. The question is how will a large and high truck be able to make deliveries to the other buildings on the same road.
    Demanding that Planning deal with this problem before the building is completed.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The types and styles of construction along Boggy Sand and NW Point Road are scandalous, and they’re getting worse. What planning process is or has been in place in recent years? I’m sure theres no corruption and definitely nobody is related to or sub contracting work from anyone involved in any of these developments.
    WTF has happened to our lovely main Island?
    BTW, wtf is with this watercolors monstrosity? What setbacks from the road exist?
    Who are we helping by letting this crap happen?

    Can we at least get Governor residence moved to anywhere else really (Bodden Town for all i care, but equally a lovely home on one of the governors harbour quays will do just fine) and give that land back to the people under a 999 year lease, landscape it nicely and adjoin it with the tiny pathetic parcel of governors beach we have left and let the rest of the greedy green eyes admire their seawalls and the waves entering their kitchens….i’m ranting, i know. But come on…its not even 20 years ago SMB and NW Point Rd and South Sound Road and Prospect and so forth were all stunningly beautiful places.

    No planning. No foresight. Just greed. That’s it.

    • Anonymous says:

      White rectangle monstrosities trying to be passed off as architectural marvels. Many of them make me think of correctional facilities.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I wish TS Grace took that cabana with her.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Beaumont surely you jest! Move it back 300m? Do you know the area? The only solution is to tear it down or let nature finish doing just that!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Now it lives up to the name.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Great spot for our much needed cruise berthing facility.

  8. Anonymous says:

    There is a new multistory building under construction on Mollie Hyde’s Lane right near this Boggy Sands cabana that appears to almost overhang the roadway.. Seems dangerous and a setback issue as well.

    • Anonymous says:

      31@7:00am – and guess who owns and built that new 3 storey building IN Mary Molly Hydes lane? Capt. Whogene Ebanks ex-MP. It was commenced before elections. Conflict much?

  9. Anonymous says:

    I reiterate: cabinet should obtain an independent valuation given the lack of beach then meet with the owners of the affected properties with a view to buying these back in trust for the people of the Cayman Islands. Graze the properties and let the beaches come back naturally.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why should the Government reimburse these idiots for building there in the first place?

      I agree they should never have allowed it, but that’s another argument.

      • Anonymous says:

        Okay, 10:56 am. What would do you propose?

        • Anonymous says:

          The Lord taketh away. The owner was warned not to build on sand. Dat wha you get. No compensation is due. No compensation should be paid.

  10. Guido Marsupio says:

    CNS – the link to “See Wednesday’s CPA agenda” at the bottom of the story is missing.

    CNS: The link does work – click on “here” – but I’ll upload to the CNS Library when I have a minute.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Lawyers bleeding clients with false hope?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Am I still in the Cayman Islands? A government agency finally growing a pair and saying no? About ******* time!

  13. Beaumont Zodecloun says:

    It’s done. Stick a fork in it. If they can move the structures 300 meters back, they might have a chance. Nothing short of that will work.

    • Anon says:

      This is not right. It all needs to be torn down now. This is wrong. Obscene!!!! and the beach needs to be restored. Setbacks please. This is built on Crown Land. Ugly! Why is Government not intervening in this now? Who cares about the ancient McKeeva Regieme? Can we just move on and start with a clean up of the old messes?

    • Anonymous says:

      Beaumont surely you jest! Move it back 300m? Do you know the area? The only solution is to tear it down or let nature finish doing just that!

  14. Anonymous says:


    “… request for high water mark …. setback variances …”

    It’s hard to imagine that applicants this dumb actually exist and moreover, that the CPA, DOE, NCC would actually have to respond to such frivolous and idiotic requests.

    How did Cayman end up going down this wormhole?

    Yeah, yeah, I know. The story actually gives the hint – original seawall approval was granted a decade ago – the McFxxxxx.

    So sad, we are truly sorry Beloved Isles Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not dumb. Well, not only dumb but also greedy. But they could have been spared this embarrassment if the government of the day had not had their hands out for easy cash without consequences.

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