NCC learned of CPA plans to appeal in media

| 05/09/2022 | 22 Comments
Cayman News Service
McFarlane Conolly

(CNS): The controversial decision of the Central Planning Authority to appeal the judgement in the ‘Boggy Sand case’ was conveyed to the chairman of the National Conservation Council via the media. Following the news, as first reported on CNS on Friday, that the CPA had made the decision at a special meeting on Tuesday, 30 August, NCC Chairman McFarlane Conolly issued a short statement on Monday confirming that he had not been told formally and was now waiting for details of the appeal.

“We have become aware through the media that it is the CPA’s intention to appeal the recent Judicial Review ruling,” he said in the short statement sent via email. “While we are disappointed that the clarity provided by the ruling has not been accepted by the CPA, we remain confident that the NCC has acted in accordance with the provisions of the National Conservation Act.”

He continued, “The NCA has, as its general objective, the balance between economic and social needs and the natural environment. We await further details on the specific grounds of the CPA’s appeal.”

The CPA made the decision to appeal at the special meeting last week after Chief Officer Eric Bush had confirmed that there was funding in the planning ministry’s budget to keep the government versus government courtroom battle alive. However, it appears that this was not conveyed to the premier’s Ministry of Sustainability either.

The legal fight was triggered after the CPA refused a directive from the National Conservation Council and efforts to deal with the issue outside the court failed.

After Justice Alastair Walters delivered his ruling last month, which confirmed the powers of the NCC under the law, Conolly said, “The decision provides clarification on a fundamental difference of interpretation of the National Conservation Act between the NCC and CPA, which we tried many times to resolve before the NCC applied to the court as a final recourse.”

There has been a considerable amount of misunderstanding about the powers of the NCC, which are still very limited. Even with the confirmation of the law in this ruling, the powers are still restricted to very specific circumstances when development poses a direct threat to areas already designated as protected or specific habitat that is home to a protected species.

See more details about the JR ruling on the NCC website.


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Category: Laws, Policy, Politics, Science & Nature

Comments (22)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    A decision which errs in law, or even may err in law, must be appealed as it’s existence in a common law regime has far reaching implications if left without correction. Let the court do what it does.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    The sad fact is that Cabinet is a bunch of ill-educated , excitable amateurs.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    I will say this until the cows come home.a complete revamping of Planning needs to be done starting with the Chairman..

    You cannot have a board with the mindset that it is their way or the highway. When a board decides that position power is greater than the will of the majority of people and the very government that put them there, then it is time to show them the door. In any other civilized country that would have been asked to leave and a new board put in place that would be willing to follow the law and to support the the policies of the Government in place.

    Under the PPM, the same thing occurred where despite the Auditor General’s recommendation that the CPA (band of contractors, hardware store owners and developers) under the PPM government be disbanded, the PPM rejected her advice and continued with the same group to our detriment.

    I can only trust and pray that we will not have to wait for another election to change the CPA board.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    CPA needs defunding and dissolving as a matter of urgency, and replacing with a properly constituted body that properly knows its legal position and role.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Here is a message ciculating after the ruling This is from some one who brags about how he controls the politicians. Calls them monkeys and laughs at them. Scaremongering. Lying. Wonder which PACT members got the most “support” from developers?

    “Writing was on the wall from when this was put into law. Essentially put all the power of planning approval for ANY development in the hands of the NCC, who have delegated that power to Gina to essentially, unilaterally, delay or stop anything from happening if she so chooses. She can come up with almost any environmental reason to not allow development on any currently untouched lands and apparently any redevelopment that she disagrees with. This includes any future residential projects like your dream home!!

    All in the hands of a single, unelected, there for life, individual. I wasn’t a supporter of this particular project personally, but that’s not the important part. Essentially, she could prohibit any new development as well as any redevelopment of SMB corridor. Again, it’s not that anything goes should be the way at all, but the pendulum just swung completely the way of conservation at all costs.

    This will hold until development dries up and affects Governments coffers……then it will be an axe falling and not a pendulum. Unfortunately the damage will be done by then. That being said, Sammy feels pretty confident that they will win on appeal. He said the judgement had many errors, let’s see“

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    • Anonymous says:

      Scaremongering. The powers relate only to protected areas.

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      • Anonymous says:

        2:43 pm and to habitats of protected species. Her net is bigger than she would like you to believe.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Only habitats that have been designated ‘critical’ for certain species. So it doesn’t include every tree a parrot lands in!

          And that designation does go through an official process, too. These areas are still limited and if developed would mean losing a species locally (e.g. no more booby pond = no more red-foot boobies).

    • Anonymous says:

      5:44 pm thanks for sharing. Excellent points and NOT scaremongering especially when all this power applies to all other agencies and authorities, not just the CPA

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  6. Anonymous says:

    8:10 I agree with you 100%

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    • Anonymous says:

      Like how the safe harbour was stopped in salt water pond in Cayman BrscBrac

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      • Anonymous says:

        Wrong. The environmental protection that Saltwater Pond had dated from before the NCA and was removed by a Mac Cabinet specifically to facilitate the proposed marina.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Ha! Clash of policies! Early elections here we come

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    • Anonymous says:

      Hopefully. Many competent Caymanians are ready to run next election, because the Cayman Islands needs competent persons with integrity, who are not able to be controlled by other persons with their own secret agendas.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Clown show! We need to be seriously concerned Caymanians! Stop voting for favours, handouts, light bill money etc. You’re selling your souls!

    Elect educated and INTELLIGENT people!

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    • Anonymous says:

      8:27 pm excellent points except we need educated and intelligent people to stand for election in the first place

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  9. Anonymous says:

    No wonder they got taken to court the way the CPA acts. Why didn’t they try to work with the NCC before trying to appeal??? Instead of wasting public money. They clearly want to work in silos, work secretly for developer interests and retain supreme control with no regard for anyone else.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Cooperation is a two way street. Someone should tell Gina.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Point out one single time from the CPA Minutes where the CPA tried to cooperate with the DoE and that offer was refused.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Why didnt NCC try to work something out before going to Judicial Review?

      As noted, this matter could have been resolved by Cabinet without initiating a huge waste of public funds. CPA did not initiate but had no choice but to respond to a JR.

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