CPA begins 2024 with packed development agenda

| 03/01/2024 | 36 Comments
The Londoner at Morritt’s Resort in East End

(CNS): The Central Planning Authority will review almost three dozen applications during its first meeting of the year, including a hotel with a rooftop pool along the Queen’s Highway, a mixed-use development at Grand Harbour, a more than 54-lot subdivision in Bodden Town, and nine National Housing and Development Trust homes in East End. Several applications seek variations from planning regulations, including high watermark setbacks — a problem that continues to cause concern in the face of rising sea levels.

During Finance Committee last month, politicians on both sides of parliament complained about a decline in the number of planning applications and alleged that the National Conservation Council has been hindering development. However, the CPA will assess a wide range of applications today, from family homes to commercial premises, totalling more than $50 million.

The applications include another development in the already crowded area of Grand Harbour, where traffic congestion continues to be a major problem. GH Group Ltd is seeking planning permission for a $16 million project for a commercial and residential building on an unnamed private road by the skate park at Grand Harbour.

There are no objectors to the project, which will be set on a parcel just shy of one acre. Despite the traffic issues there, the National Roads Authority said that, given the plans for road improvements in the area, the new development will not have an adverse effect.

In its submissions to planning, the NRA said that with a third lane planned along Crewe Road and a new roundabout on the Linford Pierson Highway tentatively scheduled to be completed by the end of 2025, the additional traffic will be spread over two separate intersections in the roadway network of the area.

“With the planned roadway improvement… the impact of the proposed development on Edgewater Way will easily be mitigated by the additional physical capacity of the road network,” the NRA claimed.

Meanwhile, Morritt Properties Cayman Ltd has made an application for a five-storey hotel building with a rooftop pool in East End. The $18 million building is Phase 2 of The Londoner and will be the same as the existing building. However, the owners are seeking a greatly reduced setback from the ocean, from 160 feet required under planning regulations to just 75 feet.

The Department of Environment has directed some conditions for this project during construction to protect the marine environment from industrial materials, and as the site is a turtle-nesting beach, the DoE has also recommended that the owners install turtle-friendly lighting.

The DoE is urging the CPA not to allow any land clearing of a proposed subdivision off Manse Road in Bodden Town until applications to build homes are made. This would preserve important vegetation and the eco-services they provide and give future owners the option to retain some of the native flora when they eventually build. RD Land Ltd has applied to clear land that is about 50% primary dry shrubland with small pockets of dry forest and 50% already man-modified.

The developers are proposing a remainder parcel in primary habitat and two local place plan (LPP) parcels located in the man-modified habitat. “The LPP parcels could be retained, without wholescale clearing, in order to continue providing valuable ecosystem services such as providing a nature-based amenity for the community. We recommend that the applicant reconsiders the layout of the subdivision such that the LPP parcels can be placed in such a way as to aid the retention of primary habitat,” the DoE wrote in its submissions.

The CPA has said that the project would benefit from access to a future road corridor proposed in the area. However, the NRA noted that this road has not been budgeted for and asked the board to consider the potential impact if this road fails to materialise.

See the full CPA agenda here.

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Category: development, Local News

Comments (36)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    CNS – you keep mentioning these rising sea levels. Since you have the connections – maybe you can find out from Dept of Environment and/or Lands + Survey, what kind (quantification) of sea level rise we are talking about here in our islands. Coastal developments have been submitting/registering high water mark surveys for decades now so surely someone in our civil service is diligently putting them into some kind of database or mapping system and can give us a comparison to say 30 years ago?

    CNS: The info is likely here or in the risk assessment documents at the end. It’s something everyone should read anyway. The prediction is for the rate of the sea level rise to grow exponentially, so we can’t wait until the problems are manifest.

    See CNS article Sea inundation inevitable now, officials warn

  2. Anonymous says:

    Ah Manse Road. Lovely houses and squalor sit side by side!

  3. Anonymous says:

    is there any benefit for the caymanian people?

    mijumum wage at the moment equal to the rent of a bedroom with shared amenities. should that jot be adressed first ?

    public education is one of the worst in the world. shouldn’t that be adressed forst ?

    roads are bad, traffic is horfible. shouldn’t that be adressed first ?

    healthcare is basically non existent for the bottom of society.

    no social network for the unemployed, sick or dying .

    all attention goes to building for the comfort of a few.


  4. Anonymous says:

    “politicians on both sides of parliament complained about a decline in the number of planning applications and alleged that the National Conservation Council has been hindering development.”

    they care MORE about developing every inch of this island that doing any conservation. that tells you all you need to know about this government.

    • Anonymous says:

      The full composition of the LA. Not just sitting the regime du jour. like the over ripe bananas on your kitchen counter, all seem to be varying degrees of rotten and past.

    • Anonymous says:

      It doesn’t matter which group is in power, Or what anti development promises they make to get elected….the one thing they all quickly realize is that in order to function, government needs income .
      Development and cruise tourism are both massive sources of inflow to government coffers without resorting to income tax. And you wouldn’t like that would you.?

      • Anonymous says:

        Wait until the NAU handouts dry up , or you can’t get free schooling , or medical treatment, THEN you’ll be begging for development.

        • Anonymous says:

          well, if the Government was actually extracting an amount to offset infrastructure and profit that would be true, but atlas, they are not, so this development just causes more debt and increased taxes as we have seen. They are playing catch up, duties on building materials should be 30% not 15% and concessions not existence.

      • Anonymous says:

        Prudence, integrity and fiscal responsibility with the public purse could save billions and eliminate the need for any of that. Sadly here they act like they won the lottery.

    • Anonymous says:

      Applications that meet all regulations and laws cannot simply be refused because the people or even the planning Board ‘dont like them’. There has to be a valid legal reason unless the public really wants to start a line up of appeals and increase expenditure on legal fees to defend decisions without proper grounds.

      Instead of years of whining and complaining about the planning Board or even the department, perhaps its time to realize that the real consistent issue or common denominator is the development and planning regulations which are in serious need of an overhaul.

      Our past Premier may have been saying the right things but I dont recall him prioritizing an meaningful changes to the planning regulations. And as much as he and his green team played the role in their photo ops on the beach, concerned about climate resiliency and sea level rises, I dont recall any consideration of a measure that could serve in the interim of regulation changes or managed retreat or any other fancy lip service – like something as simple as a moratorium on coastal development.

  5. Anonymous says:

    MPs continue to kick the can down the road for short-term gains. Failure to incorporate climate impacts in decision making, specifically sea-level rise, which is expected to affect the built environment well within the expected lifespan of new buildings means all buildings should come with a ‘buyer beware’ sticker and be self-insured.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I found this article yesterday which I thought I’d share. I’ve cut and pasted below one paragraph in particular. Does Cayman have anything like a Community Benefits Agreement Ordinance? And if not, who should we lobby?


    That anger fueled an activist campaign in 2016 that made Detroit the only major American city to pass a community benefits agreement ordinance that requires developers to negotiate a deal with the community for any project that receives significant tax breaks or public land transfers. In other cities, similar but voluntary agreements have been designed to provide something of value for residents who would otherwise be bystanders to big development deals: A guarantee of living wages in Los Angeles, retail spaces for local artisans in Nashville and priority hiring of disadvantaged groups in Birmingham, Ala. But in Detroit, which passed a watered-down version, it’s not clear whether this ordinance can give lifelong Detroiters a bigger stake in the city’s success.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have no shortage of siloed desks.Take your pick: CITA, DoT, Public Works, NRA, NiCE program…where are the bike lanes?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Morritt Properties must have gold plated insurance to push for the 75 foot setback in their new development. Which makes it quite difficult to understand their request. Especially when well documented accounts of what happened to the original Tortuga Club hotel that stood on this very site in 1988 are readily available. I guess it’s proof, once again, that just because you have money , you can’t buy common sense.

    • Anonymous says:

      These owners and others are who is responsible for pushing up the insurance costs for the rest of us. When they take such risk they should not be able to have insurance. They can self insure with their millions of dollars.

    • Anonymous says:

      When the insurance comes up short, they just bill the repairs to the time share owners. I wouldn’t have one there for free.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Puzzled.. as to how a five storey hotel can cost 18 million and Julie needs 50 million for a school??????

  9. jack says:

    whatever happened to port zeus on the brac guess this project is dead

  10. Anonymous says:

    Government doing a great job of stabilizing the population and putting Caymanians first…

  11. Anonymous says:

    Please Mr Chairman push these and every development thru. Honorable Seymour please make sure we get all the workers in that we may need. You are my hero’s to save Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep,7:00pm, under our beloved Duhwayne, BT is getting a 54 lot development off Manse Road, condos on the Anton Bodden Bypass and a whole heap of apartments in central BT. But who going to live in them?

      • Anonymous says:


        • Anonymous says:

          5:09, the hundreds of Jamaicans living in Bodden Town are in the $500/650 riff raff accommodation of shacks and lean-to sheds, nastying up the place with beer cans KFC garbage and derelict vehicles. Not these kind of properties being approved in Manse Road.

        • Anonymous says:

          Of course Jamaicans .
          Seymour Saunders Kenny and Mac , dream of having an uneducated and economically dependent voter base to keep them in power…with ultimate goal of independence..
          Watch your backs Caymanians, first they’ll outbreed you then take over.

  12. Hubert says:

    Will somebody tell me what are the plans for the road improvements at Grand Harbour and the Hurley Roundabout?

    Did I completely miss something?

    • Anonymous says:

      Take an Igloo cooler with some cold packs when you shop. That way your groceries and chilled goods can stay cold during the half hour it will take to exit Hurley’s and get going in the mad traffic.
      If anyone thinks it’s bad now, wait until this new addition is built, plus the few dozen more mega homes and a few more condos back of Grand Harbour.
      “ But it’s the quality of living we came here for “.

    • Anonymous says:

      I like making O turn on the roundabout.

      Its when you want to make a U turn and then change your mind!

    • Anonymous says:

      Since addressing the awful congestion in a realistic and effective manner seems too far in the future, measures such as mandatory busses for school children, and flexible work from home should be implemented now because the traffic woes we all face now are only going to get worse.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes you missed it! There are no plans! I am simply calling for thr DOE, Planning and NRA to be amalgamated into one ministry whose mission should be to work together for the betterment of our Beloved Isles Cayman. I hope this is not too much to ask for.

  13. Anonymous says:

    All approved without question!! Ca-ching!! $$$

    Development restraint and environmental protection/preservation has left the building!!!

    Dollar$$ talk, common sense walks!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Development in full swing boys. I wonder when Caymanians are gonna cut the tourism pillar loose and admit this islands only pillars are the financial services industry and shit loads of foreigners revolving door selling and buying new apartments and developments.


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