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A CAYMANIAN CONUNDRUM: DEVELOPMENT FOR WHOM?

Editorial 24 Mar, 2021 Follow News

A CAYMANIAN CONUNDRUM: DEVELOPMENT FOR WHOM?

A statement issued by the Dart Group inviting the public to view and comment on its plans for a new ‘development’ in the area of Governor’s Harbour how it may impact beach access is not just good proactive public relations but also highlights a wider issue.

Rather than throwing darts at each other, perhaps the campaigning politicians should take a lesson from the Dart book of public relations.

To be clear - and fair - this editorial is not about the firm and its plans.

What we are looking at is the flurry of development projects and other infrastructure works, and where this takes Cayman and Caymanians.

There are several recurring themes in the ongoing Chamber of Commerce Election Candidate Forums. Interestingly and instructively, ‘development’ runs like a thread through the main ones; population and development, traffic, cost of living, the environment, and even more importantly...affordable housing.

And to be clear, that’s affordable housing for Caymanians.

Architectural plans are one thing, and the developers must indeed be commended for making plans - very artistic ones - as it shows that for them Cayman is an excellent investment proposition.

Where the planning seems to be lacking is at the governmental level. How much is too much? How close is Cayman to saturation point for ‘developments’ and population? Where is the vision for the future of Cayman to accommodate all these ‘developments’. Where do Caymanians fit into the picture?

And most important in the ‘development’ scheme of things; where are the development plans for affordable housing for Caymanians?

The developers are developing for their ‘market’ and clients and would not have made that investment if returns weren’t assured.

Should it be a requirement that they include a section of affordable housing relative to the size of their ‘development’ as is increasingly being done in the United Kingdom?

It’s worth considering in the discussion about concessions.

It might even be someone’s unspoken vision to turn Cayman into the Dubai of the Caribbean in terms of development.

Caymanians should not be left deserted in this. And, unless there is a clear development plan, unlike Dubai which was created out of a desert, Cayman could be headed in the opposite direction.

After all, Cayman is mainly sand...and not a lot of it in the scheme of things.

It’s time for a new PlanCayman.


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