The Concerned Citizens Group (CCG) is calling on the government to “implement scenic protection legislation to protect the unique views from pressure of development.”
It’s suggesting that the government goes as far as buying up some of these sites and pass legislation guaranteeing that they be exempt from real estate development.
The CCG argues that scenic beachside views are being destroyed due to the rapid pace of development in the territory.
It calls for “the need for identification and protection of these important scenic assets”, stressing that “certain outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values for the enjoyment of the present and future generations need to be preserved.”
The organisation says the government has failed to “preserve the special character of the coastline views, beaches and important scenic views”, adding that “now it is time for us the people to demand that this be done.”
They are pressing for legislation to establish a scenic list to preserve and protect the islands scenic roads and promote tourism and economic development.
“The scenic views are sections that are free of development and need to be recognized for intrinsic qualities, cultural, historic, natural recreational and scenic. They need to be administered for example by the NRA. In so doing there must be community involvement to identify all scenic views in the Cayman Islands which would include beaches as well.”
The CCG mentions scenic beach areas and service roads such as The Mary Mollie Hydes Road - the only place now it says where you can see the entire Seven Mile Beach.
It lists other sites including Smith Barcadere, Governor’s Beach, Barkers and many others which it says need that type of protection.
“The only way to permanently protect scenic views from development is to purchase parcels of lands or future easements for the benefit of the public, which must state to be held for the benefit in trust of the public. (i.e. for the people of the Cayman Islands),” the CCG says.
Pointing out that other countries such protection in place to enhance and preserve their natural resources, it argues that such regulatory guidelines or laws must be put in place for the protection of scenic areas leading to substantial benefits that will increase tourism value.
“We should not forget that these islands were known for their wonderful natural beauty and this should not be totally sacrificed for the sake of concrete buildings,” the CCG concludes.