Overwater bungalows refused by Cabinet

| 24/02/2022 | 78 Comments
Cayman News Service
View from Kingston Bight, Little Cayman (Photo credit: National Trust for the Cayman Islands)

(CNS): A coastal works application for overwater bungalows on Little Cayman has been refused by Cabinet. According to the brief summary document of a Cabinet meeting held on 15 February, which was released on Wednesday evening, permission for what would have been an unprecedented and extremely controversial part of a proposed project at Kingston Bight, on Block 27C Parcel 711, was rejected. However, no details about the decision by government’s front-bench members were revealed.

Peppercorn Investments Ltd, which is owned by Matthew Wight, Naul Bodden and William Maines, was seeking the special licence as part of a wider CI$34 million proposed resort with a dock and overwater cabins similar to those seen in some South Pacific resorts.

Earlier this month, the Cayman Brac and Little Cayman Development Control Board granted planning permission for the land component in what is considered one of the most beautiful spots in Little Cayman adjoining a marine reserve, even though the land and overwater parts of the proposed resort are interconnected.

The application has stirred up fierce opposition from local environmental activists and across the wider community. The Department of Environment had strongly recommended against the coastal works licence, describing the proposal to build overwater bungalows in a marine protected area as “fundamentally unacceptable”.

The decision by the DCB to hear the landside part of the proposed project before a decision was made on the coastal works licence was also widely criticised, since the two elements are closely connected and the developers themselves had said the project would be not be viable without the overwater cabins.

The DoE has urged the government to create a policy to deal with potential applications for this type of development, warning that while this is the first application of its kind, it may not be the last. The DoE believes a clear position must be taken on protecting the country’s marine resources as well as factoring in the dangers posed to such developments from the effects of climate change.

The Cabinet meeting proved to be a good day for the environment, as the inner circle of government also gave the green light to the Protected Area Management Plan for Meagre Bay Pond in Grand Cayman and the Species Conservation Plan for Sybil’s crownbeard (Verbesina caymanensis), found only on Cayman Brac, in accordance with the National Conservation Act.

Both of these plans had been waiting for the official nod for more than two years.

See all Post Cabinet Meeting Summaries in the CNS Library.

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Category: development, Local News, Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (78)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    9:07 am,you are very stupid and foolish, they DO NOT own the sea bed, how can they build on it, if they dont won’t.?

  2. Cayman Biting Ants says:

    Yes 907am but first could the Goring Avenue Sand Pirates return all that sand they stole from South Sound cemetery Beach that they hid at Sunrise Landing and now Stockpiled at Goring Avenue before they take legal Action against Cabinet. Thanks ole buddie.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi George. Have you seen Seven Mile Beach recently (4 mile?) We’ve managed to wreck that so maybe best that we leave the Little gem alone.

  4. Anonymous says:

    unless proper reasoning is given for this decision….the developers should begin legal action agains this decision immediatley.

    • Anonymous says:

      9:07, They said no to development over / in a MARINE RESERVE; it’s a pretty simple decision really.

    • Anonymous says:

      The developers don’t own the water?

    • Anonymous says:

      How about – they don’t own the bottom. Or – it’s a nature reserve. The fact is that cabinet votes on things, and when they vote they don’t have to give a reason why they voted. Just like voting in parliament. Go back in your hole.

    • Flushing Meadows says:

      9.07am The reason is influence did NOT work this time!.

    • Anonymous says:

      9:07 am,you are very stupid and foolish, they DO NOT own the sea bed, how can they build on it, if they dont won’t.?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Just incase the bribes, how on earth is the cabinet even involved with making planning decisions.

  6. daniel johns says:

    Took them long enough to figure out this was a terrible idea, but, finally, someone with a brain stem took the appropriate steps,.. Just shut these developers down with their insane ideas.. And ideals….

  7. Anonymous says:

    Good try developers. Wow, absolutely no shame trying to build on crown land nor respect for our environment. I just lost all respect for NB. Greed is an amazing thing!

  8. Anonymous says:

    George, do you realize that Little Cayman’s “tourism product” and differentiator to Grand Cayman, is actually the fact that it is still relatively undeveloped? How silly can one be?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Boost for the Developers but not for Cayman..

    Thank you PACT Government for finally getting the balls that previous governments never had.

    Great to see the selling out to developers from previous years is stopping.

    These guys must be really surprised. Can’t wait for a DART one to happen and see whether or not PACT will stand their ground again.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ha smoke and mirrors there are major closed door deals going down as we speak, certain ministers are cashing in

    • Anonymous says:

      Dart won’t put one in his own name (soon) if his proxy developers got turned down. Like how Barkers plans have gone silent after Handel got turned down.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Ppm will approve in 2 yrs time…they dont care about islands or ppl…if they voted back jn

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thank you PACT Government! I don’t always agree with you but I am jumping for you right now that my X went to one of you.

    Had this been PPM it would have been approved along with millions of dollars in concessions for the Developers.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well, finally a government that stands up to the Developers..

    Now, how about replacing the Planning boards on both islands with people who are not bought and paid for. Most of these persons are former PPM/DART or PPM connected and leaving them there is like living AL’T and his rubber stamp there. It’s time Jay,there is nothing wrong with appointing some new boards, it will show that you have the guts and the balls to make a decision for the benefit of the entire country. The only thing I ask that you put a good mixture of people on these boards such as younger more educated men and women and ensure that they are not politically exposed or holdouts from the PPM. The old heads that allegedly have been used to being bankrolled by the Developers need to be put in mothballs for good. The have sold us out for too long.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hold on there Tonto! One denial doesn’t make it a stand.

      The developers will probably just reconfigure the plans and resubmit their application along with an all-expenses paid vacation.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Thank you CNS for clarification

  14. Anonymous says:

    George, it seems you’ve been out of touch with reality.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Sometimes I think that the Almighty looks after Little Cayman and Cayman Brac because otherwise some of the people certainly do not do so. Good action on the part of the Cabinet!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes the almighty looks after us. We pride ourselves with still having these beliefs that our forefathers have built us upon but sadly the CAYMAN ISLANDS in a whole are losing the grip of what it is to be CAYMANIAN.

  16. Beaumont Zodecloun says:

    At what cost? Pop quiz.

    I care more about:

    (a) money
    (b) environment
    (c) future resources
    (d) nothing, really, it’s all just a game of numbers

  17. Anon says:

    Government need to amend some of the planning laws

    I’m not against development and certainly have a different view from these activists who bleat on about rejecting absolutely everything (accept when they built their own houses)

    But I do feel Little Cayman should be given special protection. An umbrella to prevent mass development

    I don’t see anything like this working anyway
    Cayman airways express does such a huge disservice to the sister island ( especially little cayman ) they can’t even cope now And that’s during a pandemic with nobody on the island .

    • Anonymous says:

      “An umbrella to prevent mass development”

      You are a bit late for that wish Bobo.

    • Anonymous says:

      The government need to install planning zones on Little Cayman and the Brac to at least try and have some control over what these vultures try and build.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I’ll bet the developers will just keep reapplying until they get what they want.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Rather than thanking or making deprecating comments about PACT, PPM, UDP, or any other party, why don’t we insist that coastal works applications be reviewed in accordance with enshrined planning laws rather than the whims of a politician who may have been elected with less than 300 votes?

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you mean the planning laws which were updated in:
      1972, 1975, 1977, 1977 (again), 1981, 1983, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1995 (again), 1996, 1997, 1997 (again), 1997 (again again), 1998, 1999, 2001, 2001 (again), 2002, 2002 (again), 2003, 2004, 2004 (again), 2005, 2005 (again), 2005 (again again), 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2014 (again), 2014 (again again), 2015, 2016, 2017, 2020, 2021 and 2022?

      Or the Regulations which were updated in:
      1977, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1991, 1991, 1992, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1997, 1998, 1997, 1997, (yes, three times in 1997), 2001, 2002, 2002 (again), 2003, 2003, 2003 (3 times, yes), 2004, 2005, 2005, 2005 (three times, yes), 2006, 2006 (again), 2010, 2010 (again), 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2017 (again), 2018, 2018 (again), 2020, 2021, 2021 (again), and 2022?

      Completely outside of the whims of a politician right??

  20. Anonymous says:

    one word: why?
    on what basis was this refused?
    will wait for answer.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Best decision ever for LC!! Go to Bora Bora if you want over water bungalows!

  22. Anonymous says:

    For now.

  23. Anonymous says:

    the rebellion is being plotted at Fish Shack as we speak they will be hopping mad!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Thanks PACT

  25. Anonymous says:

    Messers Bodden Wight and Maines of Peppercorn Investments Ltd must miss having KT, Joey and the other PPM yes men in Cabinet given this correct decision by the current government.

  26. Kman says:

    Please let this be a great reason to celebrate what being Rascals means. I really hope that democracy has spoken, and we’ve set a precedent in standing to big developers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, hope so.

    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      Yes. Follow-up step: Stop giving developers concessions which allow them to unfairly compete with existing businesses.

      • Confidential says:

        Yeah, and how will the builder pay the job-awarder if there isn’t any “commission” for him to pay it with! (?)

        • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

          The same way it has historically been paid: A job is bid based upon the materials and labour plus profit vs. the sales value of the project.

          Concessions are government awarded profit above and beyond the basic bid of the job. Concessions allow investors to unfairly invest against existing businesses. Investors need US more than we need THEM, but government keeps kissing up to them. This is wrong, and marginalises existing businesses.

    • Anonymous says:

      Look what that group was allowed to do to the South Sound grave yard and Dixie. Dollars before respect. And PPM let them . Thank you Pact for stopping this. Please as part of your legacy put strict building codes in place in Little Cayman before it it to late. It’s to late for Grand Cayman so let’s save Little Cayman.

  27. Anonymous says:


  28. Anonymous says:

    Thank you PACT Government for doing this not only for the people of Little Cayman but for the entire Cayman Islands.

    I am not one to disagree with development but for too long we have allowed Developers to do as they please and I am almost certain that if the PPM Government were still in power they would have approved it.

    We not only now have to change the Developers attitude that they can do as they please and going forward the government needs to put in place a condition requiring them to either upgrade or put in the infrastructure surrounding the properties. Government should not have to provide this service.

    Lastly, the government needs to put a policy in place to get rid of concessions for all of these multi -million dollar projects.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Finally, sanity prevails for now at least. This is a warning shot across the bow, and DoE rightly advised to put measures in place. Our honourable members are now accountable if they let another crazy development application in the door.

  30. Cheese Face says:

    Good, now forget about this stupid idea XXXX

  31. Anonymous says:

    Great news!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Please pin this for all those who keep pretending that Cabinets cannot, or will not, intervene in planning applications when the noise hits. Only lucky for us the wind vane was spun in the correct direction this time…and for as long as that prevailing lasts.

    CNS: Cabinet did not intervene in a planning application. This was a coastal works application. All coastal works applications go before Cabinet, not the CPA or the DCB.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s permission to “scratch the Queens bottom”, as the ocean bottom in our territorial waters is owned by the Queen, who delegates this discretion.

      • Anonymous says:

        Admittedly, if anyone has ever applied for a costal works licence, it’s not as straightforward as one might think.

        And, at the end of the day, it falls for Cabinet to approve.

        What might be best, in order to avoid JR or Constitutional challenges, is to provide written reasons for the refusal.

        Not sure, whether or not, this was done.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Thank you this is a GREAT decision by the PACT Cabinet

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