Pre-dawn construction work deprives neighbours of sleep

| 25/03/2024 | 78 Comments
Nighttime construction at Dolphin Point

(CNS): Residents living by a huge condo construction site on North West Point Road in West Bay will be losing another night’s sleep on Wednesday as the developer has confirmed that work will be done at the site in the very early hours. Over the last year, residents living by the Dolphin Point Club development have been woken up between 3:00am and 5:00am on numerous occasions because the developer opts to do much of the concrete pouring and other noisy work in the pre-dawn hours. But there is little redress for the neighbours suffering frequent disturbances to their lives.

A spokesperson for the planning department has said there is nothing they can do about noisy construction work or the intrusion of excessively bright spotlights used to illuminate sites during night work because there is nothing in the planning legislation to prevent it. Planning approvals don’t usually state hours of operation, though developers must submit a Construction Operations Plan in which they are required to list measures to mitigate the duration and vibration of construction noise.

“Generally speaking, outside of the expectation that contractors adhere to an approved Construction Operations Plan, the Department of Planning has no means to enforce against or regulate the time of construction,” the planning department told one nearby homeowner, advising them to contact the police if the “noise and nuisance level is that egregious during the early morning hours”.

In correspondence following another formal complaint to the Department of Environmental Health, officials said the operating hours were “quite reasonable” as they were infrequent. One neighbour in the area who has frequently complained to the developer, planning officials and the police about the night or pre-dawn construction told CNS that it had become “unrelenting”.

One resident who spoke with CNS described the battle she has had trying to get the authorities to take the issue seriously and how she has been passed from planning to the police and then back to planning again in an endless loop.

While the nighttime-early morning work is not continuous, it has become frequent enough to significantly disrupt the sleep of people living in the surrounding area, who have been dragging themselves to work on too many mornings over the last few months after less than half a night’s sleep. Homeowners sometimes receive notices from the developer about their early morning work plans, but tenants in the area are not so lucky.

One renter in a neighbouring apartment building told CNS that the first she hears about the work plans is when the cement mixer powers up at 3:00am or the powerful floodlights are switched on.

While the frequency of loud and bright early morning work at Dolphin Point has raised concerns for the residents in that area of West Bay, the problem of construction noise and bright lights is a common concern in many neighbourhoods.

Jackhammering on Sunday mornings in residential neighbourhoods, floodlights to allow construction sites to operate all night, construction traffic closing roads and interrupting the traffic flow, and a general disregard for the impact of construction on neighbours have all become regular occurrences as the march of development continues across the Cayman Islands.

Frustrated that they have nowhere to turn, residents are calling for the government to intervene and put an end to the unrestricted round-the-clock construction work that is ruining their quality of life. People are now looking for additional conditions to be placed on construction work, especially at large developments, and for rules that can be enforced to restrict work to more normal daytime working hours as part of the approval process.


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Category: development, Local News

Comments (78)

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  1. Do Stop The Music says:

    Similar thing in Prospect when some prick decides to crank the tunes up, usually starting at around 2 or 3am. Happened again this morning. No point in calling the police so don’t even bother. Pillow over the head stuff. I really hope his stereo goes on fire.

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  2. Concerned Neighbor says:

    This is just plain wrong. Just one night of everyone parking their cars in front of the entrance until 7AM will send a strong message. But that means people who feel violated by this disturbance need to rally together and not just complain in their comments here.
    This is a large developer who really doesn’t care about the community, let’s face it.
    People need to come together as a cohesive neighborhood group and show them what we think. Talk is cheap!

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    • Anonymous says:

      I promise you the inept police that can’t do anything about the noise nuisance this project makes would suddenly be very present to arrest and remove vehicles. Police are to protect and serve, very few ask exactly who they protect and serve.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who is the developer..?

  3. Anonymous says:

    The CPA could condition working hours but they choose not to.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    https://www.dcs.gov.ky/frc/family-resource-center-legal-befrienders-service

    When you phone ask about nuisance and a common law injunction.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    In case the Auditor General reads this publication,

    Would the Auditor General please do a value for money assessment of the RCIPS and the Office of the Director of Prosecutions in general, but also specifically looking at wasted resources/the cost to the country of consistent failures to enforce our laws?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Can she also do the same value for money/wasted resources/fitness for purpose of our Premier and political pool please?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Plannjng Dept. been telling me for months now that they cant enforce against someone using heavy equipment daily next door to me, even though they have no permission to use heavy equipment to “develop” the land

    There is no hope for poor people in these Islands anymore.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Disturbing the peace. Jail them.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Can’t win for losing! I live nearby, just off NWP Road but not close enough to be affected by the nighttime works at Dolphin Point. However, I can sympathise with both the affected residents and the developer.

    NWP Road is already a very busy road, being the main one to Turtle Farm and Dolphin Discovery, two “major tourist attractions”. The Dolphin Point project and three other large developments presently ongoing on NWP Road present significant traffic increases during the day, so I can see many reasons for the developer to have some works at night. I’m affected by the traffic but acknowledge it would be worse if ALL construction activities were done during the day.

    Perhaps if my sleep was disrupted by the night works I would feel differently but at least night works takes some of the day traffic off this busy road. Imagine when these 4 large condo projects are completed and fully inhabited….that is my real concern!

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    • Road Conehead says:

      If you think traffic is bad in the West Bay area now, just wait until all of the new apartments open on Batabano Road in addition to Governors Village, the Grove Too, and the visitor traffic from Indigo Hotel.

  9. Anonymous says:

    If you think it’s bad to be woken up by these guys here and there while this project is underway…imagine being the guys doing the damn work who got up an hour before the noise started, for low wages, to work their asses off so the rest of us can have homes.

    Bring the downvotes.

    All the same people complaining about cost of housing complaining about construction. You wouldn’t last a day if you left your cushy office job with AC from 9-5 and had to bust your ass like these guys do. Have a little damn respect.

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    • Anonymous says:

      When I mentioned casually to my boss that we are stuck inside for 60-70 hours/week during the best weather in the Caribbean, he responded that it was our career choice.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, these Caymanian-held permit guest workers, invited here under some ruse, are having to work two double shifts to earn living wage. How sustainable and dangerous is that? We need to raise the minimum wage, retain the best skilled labour, and send 30% of the idea workforce home. There are way too many TB&L contracting companies, owned by Caymanians, offering dial-a-guy work crews on short notice. It’s irresponsible, and yields poor results.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Take your complaints to the Honorable Minister of Labor (if you can find him) and see how far that gets you mate!

    • Anonymous says:

      what you need to do is elevate your IQ before trying to debate adults. everybody empathize with the average worker, what we have a problem with is the developers who are requiring the average worker to get up at these ungodly hours to do noisy work before the rest of us average workers have to go to that so call cushy office job. and in case you don’t understand numbers, those buildings they’re working on will never be own by the average person.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Ok buddy lemme get my IQ ready and let’s talk like adults.

        As someone already mentioned in these comments those long lines of Supermix trucks before sunrise are there because the builder is pouring a large slab. This has to be done in one solid and continuous pour before any of the concrete cures or else you get what’s called a cold joint and it’s structurally unsound.

        As the same person mentioned, the heat from the sun speeds the concrete curing. The trucks can only go so fast and the workers can only handle so many hours in the sun before they have heat stroke.

        So ask any construction worker if they need to do a twelve hour pour what time do they want to start, the answer is “as early as possible”

        Luckily this only happens a few times per building when they’re doing the big pours.

        So…how’s my damn IQ now?

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        • Anonymous says:

          came to see your response and as suspected your IQ isn’t great. I don’t have to go far to ask a construction worker because I’ve been in it for over 20 years. even with the early morning pours, trucks still pour during the day. p.s. concrete take weeks to cure.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Oh boy. Ok buddy 20 years and still you’re full of it.

            Yeah it takes weeks to fully cure but it can set up enough for a cold joint in a few hours. And yeah not $#!t they’re running all day…it’s a 15 hour pour and we have maybe 12 hours of sunshine so exactly how do you, your genius IQ and your 20 years experience suggest they do that pour without some of it being in the dark? I’d love to hear it and if your answer is good enough you can send a link to your resume and I’ll hire you.

    • Anonymous says:

      All the more reasons why we should be regulating the times at night when construction work should be prohibited.

    • Anonymous says:

      As someone who has been on the job site at 4am I can say it’s actually much nicer to start at that time and avoid the heat.

      And the idea that another ultra luxury oceanfront development is going to help drive down the cost of housing doesn’t exactly make sense. We need affordable housing built for those who are here. Not more condos that will be bought up by rich investors who may or may not even inhabit them.

    • Anonymous says:

      As someone who has been on the job site at 4am I can say it’s actually much nicer to start at that time and avoid the heat. Not so nice for the people living around it.

      And the idea that another ultra luxury oceanfront development is going to help drive down the cost of housing doesn’t exactly make sense. We need affordable housing built for those who are here. Not more condos that will be bought up by rich investors who may or may not even inhabit them.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The early morning/night time activities are only carried out for large concrete slab pours. Which are done at this time to mitigate the heat of the sun during the daytime the hard manual nature of the work. You will have a bigger issue of the workers collapsing with heat related illnesses and injuries if it all has to be done during the daytime.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I’m no tradie but I call BS. Nexus way was a parade of dump trucks all day long for about 3 years.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I am a ”tradie” as you put it so you can call as much BS as you like. I invite you to come pour a slab in the day time and one in the dark. Then tell me which one you would prefer.

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    • Anonymous says:

      This is for the department of Labor.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to the Grand Cayman Islands…

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  12. Anonymous says:

    how about the people that are forced to work at night ?

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  13. Anonymous says:

    These kinds of problems would be easy to fix if developers were prohibited from buying politicians.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    The absence of enforcement of the noise provisions of the Towns and Communities Act and the absence of prosecutions relating to gang membership are part of the same problem and have the same effect – the further breakdown of our society.

    Similarly, the failure of our legislature to update the penalties set out in other laws such as our Gambling Act results in the criminal gangs that are creating havoc in our communities earning millions each year from ‘numbers’, millions which facilitate the escalating gun crime. Sadly, there are politicians who actively campaign to ensure that our antiquated laws are not updated, indirectly ensuring that money from ‘numbers’ continues to flow to the criminals.

    I am not convinced that the current government has the collective will to end this erosion of law in our country. Hopefully I am wrong and our government will formally demand that the uniformed services enforce all of our laws, and they will also instruct the Attorney General to urgently bring forward legislation to modernize our laws in order to end the profits now flowing freely to criminals. The time between now and the election in April 2025 will tell.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    If the Elected Govt took half of the effort that they use in destroying our environment and trying to dismantle the Conservation law, and put that effort into putting in place some rules and regulations so ppl can enjoy their home in peace and quiet, then they might get re-elected.

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  16. Colonel Kilgore says:

    I love the sound of Jackhammers in the morning.
    Colonel Kilgore

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  17. Anonymous says:

    We should simply adopt UK noise standards. Easy. No study or poll needed. They have already done the work. https://www.hse.gov.uk/noise/regulations.htm

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    • Anonymous says:

      No sir, that’s colonialism. You think our Government is going to accept, publicly that maybe the UK isn’t so bad at this stuff?

      Hell no, they would rather reinvent the wheel as a square that falls off or adopt some third world legislation from Jamaica etc than admit the UK has all these laws in place already and just needs adopting.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Of equal importance is this question: are JI, his agents and buyers aware of the extreme vulnerability of Dolphin Point to passing storms, not just tropical cyclones but norwesters? I’ve been here forty years and can remember Dolphin Point being wrecked three times, starting with Hurricane Gilbert in 88. I do hope appropriate warnings are issued to the poor saps buying there. These things fade from the collective folk memory unless we issue periodic reminders. And we can rely on the realtors to lie about it,

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s land keeps on giving!

      You’d be smoking some incredible homegrown to expect me to part with 2 million dollars and live next to uninsurable big ocean like that.

  19. Sir Mix-A-Lotta Concrete says:

    The misery will continue until morale improves.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Simple laws and regulations prohibiting noisy work and trucks between 8 am and 6 pm would fix this, the marl trucks and the flicking leaf blowers. Get it done!

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  21. Anonymous says:

    Lack of regulation as always. UK regs prohibit noisy construction work to between 8 am and 6 pm https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6917926/time-builders-start-work-uk-complain-noise/
    and the lights would likely be considered a nuisance also https://www.gov.uk/guidance/artificial-light-nuisances-how-councils-deal-with-complaints

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    • Anonymous says:

      Towns and Communities is a Gazetted Law (1995) not a proposed Act. It’s among a catalogue that are supposed to be laws in force.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Towns and Communities Law 1995 puts in limits on conduct, including litter, noise, disturbance, nuisance, and others things, but so far as anyone knows, has never been enforced ever.

    https://legislation.gov.ky/cms/images/LEGISLATION/PRINCIPAL/1964/1964-0169/TownsandCommunitiesAct_1995%20Revision.pdf

    “Penalty for failure to desist from making noises in certain circumstances”
    12. (1) Any person who makes any noise in any town or district which is likely to cause
    annoyance or discomfort to any inhabitant of that town or district, after having
    been required by a constable to desist from making such noise, is guilty of an
    offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of five hundred dollars for a
    first conviction, a fine of one thousand dollars for a second conviction and a fine
    of five thousand dollars and imprisonment for six months for a third or
    subsequent conviction.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes it did. The T&C Law required everyone to not exceed an “excessive decibel level”, however failed to identify that specific decibel level.

      We would do well to mirror the UK level. NO reason to reinvent the wheel. Just copy what has already worked in the UK.

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      • Anonymous says:

        “Nuisance” is a reason-based subjective where a neighbour might have a reasonable expectation of peace and quiet during normal bedtime hours, say after sunset and before sunrise. Nobody needs to hold a decibel meter next to a running leaf blower or jack hammer at 3am to categorise that activity as nuisance: we know it shouldn’t be running, the lights should be off, and the crews at home, themselves resting. There is a time and place for that work. No government workers, Planning Committee, or Cabinet can pretend to wield waiver authority over certain unalienable public civil rights, especially if it’s in favour of a preferred vendor. That would be corruption.

    • Anonymous says:

      A police matter. And yet another role they refuse to fulfill.

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    • Anonymous says:

      This doesn’t mean much because of the second clause – “after having been required by a constable to desist from making such noise”. No constable is realistically going to shut down a construction site because someone made a noise complaint.

      We need specific laws in place that set limits so they can be enforced. Without a strict line, the only accountability here would be because a “constable said so” and we don’t want that either.

      Set decibel limits. Set restrictions in the hours of operations.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    What time is quiet hours in Germany?
    Quiet hours are determined by law: On week days, quiet hours are from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. on Sundays. On German Holidays, quiet hours are all day. During the night, any behavior which disturbs sleep is not authorized.

    Can you vacuum on Sunday in Germany?
    Sunday is also a day of rest at home in Germany. Though what is considered as “Quiet law” varies from town to town, it is generally frowned upon to do any noisy housework on Sundays in Germany. This includes using motor-driven lawn equipment, such as a lawnmower, or home equipment like a loud vacuum.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    There are libraries of standing laws the RCIPS does not enforce, so it wouldn’t matter if there was a specific finable or arrestable offence in regards to 24hr nuisances. The RCIPS would still do nothing, because they are the weakest link.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    Noise pollution and sound trauma is a form of torture. Excessive noise from construction companies during normal sleep hours constitutes inhuman treatment. Sleep deprivation is a form of torture, just ask the CIA.

    The Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009
    Torture and inhuman treatment.
    Sec 3. No person should be subjected to torture or inhuman treatment

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    • Anonymous says:

      Omg snowflake…torture? Are you seriously equating some noise, some of the time, and rarely during your sleeping hours to torture?

      You’re not ready for the world yet. Stay in school.

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  26. Anonymous says:

    The police won’t help with noise complaints. I have a two year battle with a problem neighbor. The last time the police came round and we could all barely hear each other in the road, but they said it wasn’t load enough to be a nuisance! Yet its constant!

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  27. Anonymous says:

    The Cayman Islands Constitution
    Protection of the Environment.
    18. …is not harmful to the health or wellbeing of present and future generation…
    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2009/1379/pdfs/uksi_20091379_en.pdf

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  28. Anonymous says:

    Radiation safety Laws and regulations- NONE

    Noise Ordinances – NONE

    Clean Air Act – doesn’t exist

    Emissions control regulations – don’t exist.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Incinerators emissions regulations don’t exist

      Hazardous/infectious/radioactive/biohazardous/dead animals/demolition debris waste safety and disposal regulations don’t exist

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    • DaWhaYaGet says:

      Don’t Feed Chickens Act – exists with a $500,000.00 Fine!

      Ridiculous isn’t even the word… Laughable really!

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    • Anonymous says:

      you really think this government going look at what other countries have done regarding the same issue? we need to do a 6-7 figure report from specialists before anything can be considered.

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      • Anonymous says:

        but most, if not all of these expensive reports are ignored and only attract decades of dust.

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  29. Anonymous says:

    Developers have all the power in this country. They will bulldoze everything, pour concrete over everything, no care for any one who lives here. It is all about the mighty dolla.

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  30. Anonymous says:

    The Pirates really are in control.

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  31. Anonymous says:

    Noise ordinances? 6am-11am in a civilised world.
    Noise and bright light disrupting sleep are carcinogens. THE most important thing for a human body is uninterrupted 8 hr of sleep.

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  32. Anonymous says:

    While we’re at it, lets look into a law to ban certain types of leaf blowers.

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  33. Anonymous says:

    1. These developers have no shame.
    2. Our government is useless.

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