No environmentalists on planning law review team

| 10/03/2022 | 77 Comments
The FIN development project (file photo)

(CNS): Cabinet has appointed a new committee to review the Development and Planning Act that doesn’t include a single expert on climate resilience or sustainability. The lack of any environmentalists on this board is likely to raise considerable public concern, given the PACT Government’s stated policy objectives and the need to address fundamental problems in local planning laws in light of the Cayman Islands’ vulnerability to climate change sea-level rise.

According to the summary notes of the Cabinet meeting, this new committee was formally appointed on Tuesday, 1 March. Local lawyer Steve McField has been appointed as chair of this new board, which could shape the development of Cayman for generations to come. The other members are largely connected to the development sector, calling into question the direction of this review.

The deputy chair is the planning ministry’s chief officer or their designate. Central Planning Authority Chair Ian Pairadeau and Planning Director Haroon Pandohie have also been appointed.

The rest of the board members are from the private sector. They are Stanley Hill, a building contractor; businessman Jerry Wood; Mervin Smith, a plumbing contractor; Garth Tibbetts, an electrical contractor; David Crawford; Fred Whittaker, an architect and former CPA member; George Manderson, who is also an architect; Cameron Graham, President of Dart Real Estate; Stephen Hislop, a project manager; Businessman Gary Rutty; Selina Tibbetts, a lawyer working with Samuel Jackson; Tracey Rankine, a quantity surveyor; and Paul Rivers, who owns a tourism attraction business.

Few details were given about the work of the committee, such as the terms of reference, how long they will be given to examine the legislation, whether or not they will be tasked with drafting the legislation, or if the Ministry of Sustainability and Climate Resiliency will play any part.

The meeting summary stated that “amendment to the definitions with regard to ancillary spaces and use of rooftops” would be a first step for the board. The government’s inner circle also approved “the issuance of drafting instructions to amend the Development and Planning Act and its associated Regulations”.

See the Cabinet Post Meeting Summary in the CNS Library.

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Category: development, Local News

Comments (77)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Selina Tibbetts IS a staunch environmentalist, but perhaps those commenting simply overlooked her name because she’s a woman. As for the rest of the appointees, they didn’t even know this committee was being formed, much less that their names were put forward, so cut them some slack. And remember, this is a committee to review the Development and Planning Law, NOT the National Conservation Law.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just because one effected a ban of a herbicide does not make one a staunch environmentalist, an activist maybe.

      BTW the pesticide that was banned was one of the safest ones on the market. Check it’s half-life in soils and ground water compared to other herbicides This only happened due to idiots using it to poison dogs. Lacklustre regulation and enforcement by Department of Agriculture caused this. Now Joe Farmer will use ones that are even more dangerous to the environment, since they have much longer half-lives. These substitutes can also kill pets.

      Some environmentalists only solve one problem whilst creating more problems. Emotions have no part in practical solutions.

      • Anonymous says:

        11:26 am Then you obviously don’t know Selina Tibbetts.

      • Anonymous says:

        In Europe it has been banned/heavily restricted since the 90s as well so obviously it is seriously dangerous. Paraquat has a very high acute toxicity for mammals, is extremely persistent, non-selective, contaminates the soil and, last but not least, is not needed given the existence of non-chemical alternatives and less problematic herbicides. That is not something that we need to allow at the risk of animals and more importantly, children. As for the other herbicides I do agree that the DoA need to review all herbicides and modernize their criteria and enforcement- long overdue and extremely important, yet entirely overlooked.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t it bizarre that we have a special label (environmentalist) for people who are merely sensible enough to understand that it’s insane to destroy life and habitats for short-term profit or convenience? They should be the regular, default, normal people and there should be a unique label for the idiotic/criminal destroyers.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Pure utterly wutlesness

  4. Anonymous says:

    If you can’t tell who the real Premier is by now you simply don’t want to! I wonder if they are paying MAC two salaries one for Speaker and one for “actual Premier”

    Wayne does the position mean that much to you that you have completely surrounded yourself with the same people that you so detest ?

    We should have stuck with Suckoo, he may have flip flopped a few times but he never sold us out !

  5. Anonymous says:

    Well that’s a laugh, Ms. Tibbetts can’t oppose Mr. Graham or her husband might lose his job at Dart.

    • Anonymous says:

      7:39 pm Very small-minded comment. If you actually knew either of these people you would also understand their professionalism. You’re looking for conflict where none exists.

    • Anonymous says:

      You clearly have never met her or you would certainly not make such a comment.

  6. Anonymous says:

    That’s a good start.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Wayne you finished along with alot of your current government ministers. If Caymanians haven’t woken up by now they most likely never will. But if they do it will be far too late to change the system that has and is gripping this little island with an iron fist! Cayman is turning into the symbol of white supremacy and privilege over the locals.

  8. Anonymous says:

    While I can appreciate the concern here, let’s not lose sight of the fact that the National Conservation Act is in place. Regardless of who sits on this board or what far out proposals they make, it WON’T override the NCA.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Cayman’s version of Animal Farm. Greed and money good, environment bad!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Cayman, run by clown tears and greed.

  11. Well well 17 members appointed to one board and such a vital board the planning law review committee to move the island forward into the future??
    Very surprised that no one to fight for environmental issues should they arise(and there will be many)have been included.At the very least the D.O.E.should be represented.I wish them well but members Caymans future generations will be watching the decisions that u make.

    • Chris Johnson says:

      Peter you should be on that board!

    • Chris Johnson says:

      Peter you should be on that board and in fact chair it.

    • Anonymous says:

      12:32 pm With all due respect Mr. Milburn, Ms. Tibbetts is a known environmentalist and an expert regarding the National Conservation Act and Planning laws. I don’t think DOE is represented because they actually took Planning to court to contest one of their decisions….instead of DOE acting like a normal government department and sitting down with Planning to sort it out.

      • NoDefense says:

        Who won?

      • Yawn says:

        Really?- what environmental group is she a part of then. Don’t think her legal field is planning, nor is she an environmental lawyer- she has experience of Cayman but not an expert. Let’s face it, we have been going around in circles since friggin 1997 with a host of local ‘specialists’. We need some proper outsiders to come and clean up the nepotism.

        • Anonymous says:

          9:24 pm “Yawn” why does she need to be part of a group to be an environmentalist? I don’t care what you “think”, I KNOW she practises in the areas of planning and environment in Cayman. And she does a great job at it.

        • Anonymous says:

          A group? You mean a WhatsApp/Facebook group to spread noise? Nobody needs to be a part of a “group” to be anything. Utter nonsense.

    • Two Cents says:

      Peter, I feel your frustration, we all do. I hate to break it to you but with this lot, there won’t be many environmental issues.
      Thank God Cabinet doesn’t pick jurors; no one would get a fair trial.

  12. anon says:

    The islands will continue to be developed until an economic downturn and/or climate change/hurricane puts an end to it. Caymanians will be left to suffer with the destruction to the environment and a less attractive tourism product- people come for beaches and scenary not concrete.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Ladies of CNS, we need that bullshit meter again. I think you should add it to the like and dislike buttons because there is a lot of it around these days.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The definition of insanity. Continually recycling the same old board members and expecting different results. WAYNE WHERE YOU IS? YOU WENT FISHING OR WA? YOU OK WITH THIS???

    • Anonymous says:

      Clearly dear Wayne is Premier in name and salary only. There is no way he could have agreed to this based on the platform he ran on during his election campaign.

      There can only be one logical explanation and that is once again his MacBuddy who he used to grasp power is now firmly at the controls with his other cronies like Jay, Kenny and the like in full support.

      And dear Waynecito, like his predecessor, lacking the intestinal fortitude to do the right thing.

      God help us!

    • Anonymous says:

      Wayne isn’t running the country. He will be the scapegoat in 3 years time when Saunders will take over with Mac and Kenny.

      • Anonymous says:

        I suspect it will be a lot sooner than that! All of a sudden Saunders has become quite visible and dear Waynecito almost invisible.

      • Anonymous says:

        Then we really will be a mini Jamaica with friends and relatives in even more UDP appointed positions.

  15. Anonymous says:

    No regular people onboard either. Should at least have some ministers.

  16. Bobo Fett says:


    As real estate booms, Caymanians question who their islands are building for.

    January 26, 2022 by Kayla Young

  17. Anonymous says:


  18. Anonymous says:

    Steve McField’s appointment really demystifies who the “key” horse-trading Cabinet members are behind this affront. Are Captain Eugene and Michael Alberga being appointed to the SIPL Committee next?

  19. Anonymous says:

    This has got to stop. The continued high rise and high density construction won’t stop while the people making the decisions about it are also the same people making the money from it.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Steve McField as Chairman? Certainly you jest!

    Clearly another MacBeater appointed Board. When will this nonsensical farce stop?

  21. Anonymous says:

    PACT better get its act together unless they will not see a second term together.
    New day but same game being played

  22. Anonymous says:

    Planning minister Jay Ebanks does not care about environmental issues. He has replaced Joey Hew as the proxy minister for big developers look at the review board membership and try to draw any other conclusion.

    Why is the Premier’s ministry for sustainability not involved?

    • Anonymous says:

      For Gods sake stop overreacting.

      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly. We should have stopped immigrants long ago as well. Too many people have come here….resulting in environmental destruction. Oh, they came to help “build the economy”? But destroy the environment.

        • Anonymous says:

          Check your 6. We have some stellar born & bred Caymanians who don’t give two licks about the environment too. And public environmental awareness that we see today has only been enhanced by expats with first hand experience of environmental stewardship. All of our past politicians have only paid lip service to this concept.

          • Anonymous says:

            Climate change?
            Global warming as a result of burning fossil fuels?
            Scientists, lobbied by the GLOBAL POWERS OF THE DAY do lie and idiot’s in masses choose to believe them, rather than seek the real truth. THE SCIENCE DOESN’T LIE.

  23. Anonymous says:

    What a joke… Read the first name and I knew it was going to be bad…

    • Anonymous says:

      Why is Dart represented.?
      There is no one on the board who has the education to understand the economic implications of their amateur decisions. They will all make choices which will safeguard or enhance their personal interests, not the greater good of Cayman.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Any surprises here? No doubt they’re intending to hire consultants!

  25. Anonymous says:

    In university I read about ‘regulatory capture’ which occurs when the people and business entities that ought to be regulated for the benefit of society take over the regulatory process in order to loot the system. This sure looks a lot like regulatory capture to me. So much for good governance.

    • Anonymous says:


      • Anonymous says:

        #corruption. Stop being an apologist and call it what it looks like. It would be different if like older generations they could be seen to be motivated primarily by what is good for Cayman and Caymanians. But for the most part they are not.

  26. Anonymous says:

    The Planning and Development Act should be renamed. If there was any truth in the naming of legislation this legislation would be called, “The Developers and Politicians Continued Prosperity at the Expense of the Environment Act”.

  27. Skratch says:

    So much for Wonderboy Wayne being the environmental savior.
    This government is proving to be no different than the last and is relying on runaway development to help fuel the economy.
    No vision whatsoever.

    • Anonymous says:

      He’s only one person. People need to pressure the other ministers.

      • D. Truth says:

        People need to pressure ALL ministers…….. then toss out the dregs!

        • Anonymous says:

          Toss them all out they’re all dregs. All they see as politicians is an opportunity to feather their own nest.

          Preserving these islands, timely provision of adequate infrastructure, sustainable development that benefits the general populace are just enigmas that fall off agendas as soon as they are elected. Instead they pander to Cayman’s oligarchy.

          When natural habitat no longer exists and the islands are choked with people. Those with means who encouraged this unsustainable exploitation will be long gone. The gravy train is accelerating but the brick wall across the tracks is coming within the next decade unless greed and corruption are eliminated.

  28. Anonymous says:

    No one can say Cayman doesn’t lead the world in recycling the same old people on boards again and again. It’s the administrative definition of insanity.

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