Boggy Sand application returns to CPA

| 08/05/2024 | 48 Comments
Site on Boggy Sand Road on 7 December 2023 with a partially constructed deck (Source: DoE)

(CNS): An application has been made to build a wooden deck on top of a concrete base, which is all that is now left of a cabana on Boggy Sand Road that became the subject of a controversial judicial review. Without planning permission, the owners have already started to build the deck on the same footprint as the cabana, located right on the ocean’s edge in a marine conservation area, despite advice by the Department of Environment that there should be no structures there at all.

The property is part of The Sands Residence, and the developers, K&B Ltd, want to build the wooden deck for the residents of that luxury condo development to use.

The project has become symbolic of the ongoing friction between the Central Planning Authority and the National Conservation Council as the owners seek to build on the existing structure, even though it is falling into the ocean.

In September last year, the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal dismissed the CPA’s appeal against the Grand Court’s findings that the DoE was right to direct the board to refuse planning permission, a lawful order that was ignored. The developers then tore down the controversial cabana across from the main development.

The owners had originally sought to build a two-storey, partially glass cabana as part of a recreational area for the condo complex. However, the structure is failing because it was badly designed and built far too close to the ocean. The site has a history of erosion, largely because of the hard structures, such as the seawall, that have been built on the active beach.

Late last year, even though they did not have planning permission, the developers began constructing the wooden deck. The application is now due to be heard by the CPA on Wednesday.

The DoE met with the developers in January to discuss concerns relating to the work going on at the location, given that it is adjacent to a marine reserve that is protected under the National Conservation Act.

An engineer’s report revealed safety concerns about the remaining concrete base and sea wall. The DoE has pointed out that any remedial work to repair this failing structure poses a direct threat to the marine environment because metals, debris and chemicals can easily get into the sea, threatening fish and corals. The DoE experts have also questioned whether the CPA can allow a structure that poses such a safety risk to remain in place, let alone build a deck on top of it.

“The DoE has discussed at length the grave concerns about the vulnerability of the development of this site, given its proximity to the sea and associated wave activity/loading and scour in the two previous planning applications for development on this site,” the technocrats noted in the official submissions to the CPA.

“The relentless force of the sea has destroyed this structure because it has been poorly positioned and poorly designed. Whilst the proposed deck may provide a cosmetic solution, the forces acting on the structures, e.g. wave loading, will persist and the sea will continue to scour and undermine the property. Based on well-documented climate change predictions for the region, the impacts of sea level rise and increased intensity of hurricane and storm activity will increase the vulnerability of this site,” the DoE added.

The department has said that a major storm could damage the structure even more, which would likely result in debris being washed into the marine protected area.

“It is very clear that this site is not a good location for built development and the seawall probably should never have been granted planning permission a decade ago,” the DoE stated. “It is evident that within a very short period the structure is failing, partly due to an inappropriate design and partly due to its position in an inappropriate location. It would therefore seem futile to try to permit further development on this problematic site.”

The DoE pointed out that the CPA could require the demolition of this structure if it is deemed unsafe by the building department. However, whatever happens with this structure, there will be a direct adverse effect on the MPA.

See the CPA agenda with the application, including the DoE submissions, in the CNS Library (under ‘Boggy Sand Beach Cabana’).

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Category: development, Local News

Comments (48)

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  1. SSM345 says:

    True Story;

    I once went to court for almost 2yrs because the CPA tried to prosecute me. I began construction of my back deck in August and the following January they (CPA) drove past and noticed the project then checked their records and noted I did not have planning permission……I did not have it because I did not require it when construction began. The laws they were stating I infringed had changed in 31 December. They were basically doing an island tour to see if anyone was breaking their brand new legislation.

    One morning the police came to my door and said they were going to arrest me for failing to appear in court….apparently I had been given notice by the CPA? No notice whatsoever was given/sent/emailed/posted to me.

    Trying to explain I had broken no law did not sink in the first few appearances so I went ahead submitted all the relevant paperwork to the CPA for the planning permission I did not require. $800 out of pocket.

    They eventually approved it.

    Court then accepted the situation was remedied after this occurred yet still thought it fit to fine me for failing to appear at the outset (even though notice from the CPA was never received) for charges of breaking laws that did not exist.

    So the “small guy” gets brought to court for a backyard deck; having “broken” laws that did not exist; and on the other hand our developers and other parties who break the laws (that actually exist) carry on like they are above it all with F all repercussions….

    Just another example of the life on the rock.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you had paid the right politician you could have avoided all that – life on the rock.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s Cayman!

    • Anonymous says:

      nothing has changed. they recently rolled out brand new inspections and what was their way of telling us? failing people final inspection request so you had to investigate why it occurred.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The application fee for ‘after the fact’ approval of this type of illegal activity ought to be increased to at least the value of the property on which the illegal development occurred – problem solved.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If an offense is being committed, those agents on the sign are complicit in it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    One suggested work around is as follows.

    The CPA and the Ministry dedicated to maximizing developer profits – Planning – will do nothing.

    However, given the safety concerns raised by the developer’s own engineering report the existing structure ought to be declared a “nuisance” within the meaning of the Public Health Act and the developer should be given 14 days to remove it.
    If that is not done then the government ought to remove it at the developer’s expense. If the developer does not pay then government should seize the entire property and should auction it off to cover the expense. That would send a message.

  5. WBW Czar. says:

    Just let them build and stay out of private property rights.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Any developer, property owner, or contractor that knowingly presses ahead with an activity in the absence of required prior permission, should face criminal charges and forfeiture of T&BL. We don’t need any more socially corrosive bad actors in our communities.

    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent suggestion!
      We should also do something similar equivalent in relation to politicians who ignore the law in relation to illegal billboards.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree 95%. Do you know that BCU requires a permit for literally any change in your mechanical electrical or plumbing? Want to add 1 outlet? Permit. Want to add mini split ac where there was none before? Permit. Want to change the breaker size for whatever reason? Permit

      That makes about 99% of homeowners in some sort of violation technically with BCU.

  7. Anonymous says:

    How much does it cost to buy one of the political cronies who are going to decide? Asking for a friend.

  8. Anonymous says:

    any development that starts before getting approval should be bulldozed, fined and be made to wait 1 year before reapplying.

  9. Anonymous says:

    This might be a far more interesting storyline for the failed backstreet boy in Secrets in Paradise

  10. Anonymous says:

    Can’t fix stupid.

  11. Anonymous says:

    What is in the water on Boggy Sands Road?! An area that once could be considered as the most beautiful, traditional, Caymanian style locale has been utterly devastated by ridiculous properties built for all intents and purposes into the ocean; the guy whos built all the condos is pretending he doesnt run a for-profit beach club in clear contravention of planning rules and zones; these developers Sands have no respect for authority and on top of that built their wholly overbuilt structure basically butting into the 4 way stop! And now Fosters tear down a piece of history for a car park and a wholesale monstrosity.

    seriously, what is wrong with folk? we’re just ruining everything, for what? short term greed for a very, very few.

    its insanity. Boggy Sands Road? More like Soggy Plans Flowed

  12. Anonymous says:

    The cabana which was torn down started out as just a deck too…I recall well.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I have living here now for 17 years and I have noticed there are 2 sets of laws. One for caymanians and one for wealthy expats.

    • Anonymous says:

      no it’s one for the average persona dn one for the wealthy. nationality is irrelevant. let’s not forget the well known Caymanian family that did the same thing on the waterfront and took out a full page ad to remind people how entitled they think they are.

    • JTB says:

      No, it’s one set for developers and one for everyone else.

      • Anonymous says:

        Progressive developers and contractors do best. That’s why they always have brand new trucks.

  14. Anonymous says:

    No matter what the experts say CPA has their minds made up and it is very obvios when you attend to listen in on their meetings that they are always in favor of the developers. No dress come the Applicants for proposed developments come in sport pants.

  15. Anonymous says:

    The entitlement of these clowns must be met with financial penalties.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Huh – started construction without approval

    Some random words jumped into my head including: ignore…….law……grease….palms…..get…..approval

  17. Anonymous says:

    I say let them build it. Won’t be long before the sea take it as well.

    It will be unfortunate for the marine life but it is a political issue. Initial warning about the original structure was ignored, hence the reason DoE is even giving their opinion.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Government should just buy the property and tear it down. Problem solved.

  19. Anonymous says:

    How many times do these people need to be told No?

  20. Anonymous says:

    If the rich and powerful of Cayman refuse to comply with the laws of the land, what hope is there for maintaining a civilized society here?

    • Anonymous says:

      Windsor Park is crammed with illegal Jamaican tenement shack structures, and they can’t be described as “rich and powerful” developers.
      However they run squealing to their unprincipled vote hungry MPs.
      Contractors should be fined for proceeding with construction without proof of planning permission and building permit.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not just Windsor Park. Swamp, Dog City, Prospect, Bodden Town. Not a lick of planning permission in site for their shanty town additions and not a drop of enforcement from our authorities.

        • Anonymous says:

          The common denominator in all those places seems to be Jamaican voters and their voter dependent politicians…you vote for me, I’ll look the other way.
          It’s only going to get worse, be careful who you vote for.

        • Anonymous says:

          Watering Place

  21. Anonymous says:

    The developers need to have a huge fine levied upon them and made to remove everything. They knew this was illegal yet did it anyway. Enough of this “its ok” after the fact. Enforce the laws.

  22. Anonymous says:

    The DOE needs to stay in their lane. They are not experts in everything despite what they may think. They have no business opining on matters outside of their remit such as the structural integrity of this wall. A little humility would go a long way.

    • Anonymous says:

      Following the law would go a long way also mate, but guess that might cut into your profits.

    • Anonymous says:

      A little less arrogance, ignorance, greed and avarice goes a long way too!

    • Anonymous says:

      …”An engineer’s report revealed safety concerns about the remaining concrete base and sea wall”””.

      “… it is adjacent to a marine reserve that is protected under the National Conservation Act”.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ad hominem. a sign of poor reasoning

    • Anonymous says:

      DoE: We read the engineering report, una may want to think before you act.

      Developer: DoE must stay in their lane! They are not experts! Plus we have already started building so no one must stop us now.

      I know who I’m going to listen to. (When I build something its whichever of the architect’s engineer or my review engineer give me the most conservative advice. I don’t like it when my things fall down. But that’s just me.) But who will the CPA listen to? The engineer, or the people building illegally?

      Tune in next week for the next exciting installment.

    • Anonymous says:

      DoE employs sustainability experts including an engineer. Are there any sustainability experts or even engineers in Planning Dept or CPA for that matter? Planning needs to join us in 2024 and look at the future instead of lining pockets with the past.

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