Harbour bar gets go-ahead to work on seawall

| 02/11/2021 | 29 Comments

(CNS): Cabinet has approved a coastal works licence for a bar in a small cove in the George Town Harbour to enable the owners to mend a seawall that is deteriorating and undermining the main structure. An application by Little Liquor Store Ltd, which is currently trading as a bar, for permission to repair a corroding seawall to secure the main structure was granted at a recent meeting of the PACT government, according to notes released by officials.

It is one of a number of structures in this area that were built too close to the water in the harbour that are now suffering the consequences.

“The shoreline in this area of George Town is predominantly man modified or ironshore with much of the coastline having been developed with very limited setbacks,” the Department of Environment said in its review of the licence application. “As a result, the sea-walled sections require maintenance such as this proposal to ensure the structures do not fail.”

In its submissions to Cabinet the DoE technical team said there was no alternative than to support the proposed works to prevent the collapse and failure of the structure.

The Sandbar, where the work is being done, is adjacent to the Balboa Beach project, which has stirred up significant controversy for the construction that has taken place there both with and without planning permission. The small development has been the subject of numerous planning applications, appeals and re-hearings as a result of objections from a neighbouring landowner as well as the problems that have been created by the piecemeal way it has been presented to planning.

The Sandbar is also very close to the water’s edge. Previously a small liquor store, it is now a popular bar and restaurant that also has a stage for live music. But the whole structure is under threat as a result of its proximity to the ocean and the seawall is badly corroded.

The project required a coastal works licence as the works will affect around 16.5 square feet of crown property and the owners must comply with conditions agreed by the DoE, as the area includes ecologically important coral reef habitat. Although the stretch of waterfront is now part of the renamed Port Control Zone, it was previously a Marine Park. The immediate area of the proposed work is predominantly sand, loose rock and algae but there are reefs in the immediate vicinity which are a potentially vulnerable to the work.

The DoE said that the seawall is a replacement so it is unlikely there will be a significant change in influence to the cove and sand area immediately in front of it. The sand in the area provides very limited amenity value as an area of coastline but the technical experts warned that its loss could mean that the seawall is more susceptible to becoming undermined.

However, the shelter provided by the surrounding ironshore means the shoreline is likely to be relatively stable and the DoE’s main concern for this project is the construction activities, turbidity in the water caused by the disturbance of the seabed and the introduction of fine material, such as the corroded seawall sections when rust is removed by wire brushing.

The owner will be required to mitigate the potential impacts to the marine environment using silt screens and a sandbag wall across the entrance of the cove and remove any corrosion debris from the wire brushing of the seawall using vacuums.

No excavation to the coastline will be allowed other than at the base of the seawall and the trial pit located in the cove area, and if any damage is done to the marine environment the applicant will be held responsible to put it right.

“It is important that these impacts are addressed in order to reduce risk to nearby receptors such as the coral reef offshore of the subject parcel,” the DoE said as it outlined the conditions.

See the DoE’s technical reviews on all coastal works license applications here.


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Category: development, Local News

Comments (29)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Permission Granted WOW just a big WOW While Kaibo Public Beach up in NORTH SIDE continues to erode away after so many years of Mr Ezzard Miller trying to get government after government to do something I think 3 or 4 of the cabanas at Kaibo is now partially lapping in water. Ok Mr Jay lets work on North Side Kaibo needs help big time. And we need to know why the lovely paving that got started up Kaibo why it not start back again. This is another road Mr Miller fought tooth and nail to get widing and repaved after 20 plus years of nothing but patching patching patching by NRA lets fix North Side up beautiful..

  2. Seawall doesn’t work in the Cayman islands. Government needs try a new model called Gabion basket retain walls. similar to what Mr. Christopher Johnson built on his coastal property on 7 mile Beach in the early 200’s and the Scott’s marina in the North Sound in the 1990’s. this model of seawall works in the Cayman islands.

    • Chris Johnson says:

      The only problem with your blog is that the application was turned down!

      To this day I do not have a retaining wall. There is a big difference between a retaining wall tand a sea wall. The wall on boggy sand road is a retaining wall. Bush built that without planning permission. My application was turned down by CPA because of jealous neighbour objections who do not understand the difference between the two scenarios. CPA also does not understand the difference either.

      Meanwhile all other applications on SMB for seawalls have been approved. One of my reasons for my application is because the developer of Discovery Point removed sandstone on their property, illegally, which led to the detriment or my property. This is the same person that loved using sand from the sea to build his condos thus leaving crumbling condos.

      You just cannot make this stuff up.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t always agree with you but i do love that you are not hiding (like me) anonymously and for that i salute you. Go build your walls. Or knock them down. At this point, there’s very little point in any of it anymore!

  3. HJacques says:

    Just the facts ma’am as Sgt Joe Friday would say.
    Note, the band stand is NOT at the Sandbar. It is on the Balboa Beach property.

  4. Anonymous says:

    i mean, no matter what they said, they were going to do it anyway. it is clear in that area you can do whatever you want and face no consequences.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is encouraging that there are still certain surnames asking for permission, even when the pathway has been proven to be easier to just do it and file afterwards without consequence, or future record cautions, or disincentives of any kind! Maybe honour isn’t dead after all.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Did they have planning permission to put that deck onto the iron shore? Seems like special interest people always are allowed to do these things. That little store was never out on to the iron shore like that so someone has taken a lot of liberty to expand. That property is owned by a huge conglomerate company that has a lot of money and we all know how that helps.

    • Anonymous says:

      And why would they bother with that waste of paper known as planning permission? They know folk, who know folk, who know someone who can get it passed no questions asked. Due process doesn’t exist here unless you are the small man.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Are you referring to the process of erosion control?
    There are no miracle patces to stop the erosion… are there?

    • Anonymous says:

      Was an engineering report submitted for the way that deck sticks past the existing concrete wall (blue gray area) as those metal rods that are supporting it look rusty. As your article states they have bands and music, one would think that the extra people and activity (dancing) could cause a collapse and have a major accident with people possibly getting hurt. This certainly appears to be like the leaning gazebo on Boggy Sound Road. When do we stop allowing after the fact alterations to continue? Guess never if special influence prevails.

      • Chris Johnson says:

        The property with the illegal bandstand is actually that of the Thompson family but rented to the Sandbar as is the second slap poured on the ironshore also rented to the Sandbar. The Appeals Tribunal rejected planning permission for both slabs of concrete, the ugly purple building and the car park. As a result the Thompsons must make an application for all of the above plus the bandstand and fencing to the CPA.. The fencing around the car park also does not meet the regulations and the owners were told to fix it.
        The enforcement people continually allow things to go on with no thoughts on imposing the law.
        It is always ‘who you know’.

        • Hancock says:

          Five enforcement orders were issued on the Thompson property between August 2017 and December 2019. Look like more need be issued. it is also a fire hazard. If those two buildings catch fire the only option is to jump in the seas. I hope the patrons are good swimmers ‘after a few’.

        • Anonymous says:

          This is the kind of thing that makes it look like #Legge was right. (And our robust law enforcers are not what they claim).

  7. Anonymous says:

    This sounds good, but care is needed when it’s carried out.

  8. Anon says:

    For a time yes, but only that. Without serious changes and efforts to combat global warming nothing will prevent many more coastal properties becoming undermined like those already affected (and not that far into the future). The late Bob Soto predicated one day West Bay will be divided by the sea from the rest of GC. Not hard to believe when the aerial view so clearly depicts so little land left to protect this from happening.
    For those who have lived here long enough it is obvious to recognise this type erosion started when development along our coastal areas went beyond what should have been allowed. There were many alternatives that could and should have been considered. It’s too late now for some now facing the consequences. And yet, sadly, we move along in the same direction heedlessly.

    • Anonymous says:

      West Bay divided by the sea.
      I’m failing to see that as a problem.

    • Chris Johnson says:

      With those with long memories they will recall one of our governments banned building on the ironshore.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thought all the sea walls were the problem. Why build another one?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Simple solution.

    Just say “no”

  11. Anonymous says:

    No alternative? Just leave irr to collapse, that’s my recommendation.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Sure a “replacement” to an ugly unsustainable steel corrugated retaining wall that probably wasn’t properly permitted in the first place. It was a land grab and cabinet should look back at be history I’d the property when considering this application.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This seems fair. It shouldn’t be confused with Balboa Beach.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why not as it seems they are following the owner of Balboa Beach’s lead and doing expansions/alterations first and then going for permission. Just more of who you are as opposed to following the laws/rules.

      • Anonymous says:

        This really irks me as we are Caymanian and want to build a small house yet the amount of architect, engineers, mechanical reports we are made to submit (and pay big fees for) and the hoops we have to jump thru yet something like this just gets a go-ahead.Next is all the waving of fees for certain foreign developers yet we have to pay full price for everything. Sure seems like the goverment has their priorities wrong.

        • Anonymous says:

          Not to mention one developer who never paid the overdue duties for a huge hotel project and then went bust only to resurface and our PPM led goverment granted more duty concessions on another huge condominium development. Guess it pays not to settle your bills!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like the process is working.

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