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Plan Cayman- George Town Residents have their say

Government 17 Jun, 2024 Follow News

Haroon Pandohie

Members of the public asked their questions

Members of the public asked questions

The Plan Cayman meeting at Constitution Hall

By Staff Writer

Constitution Hall was filled on Thursday 6 June, as residents came to voice their feedback on the Draft Plan - the most significant new development since Plan Cayman began back in the 1990s. It was part of a series of district consultations held throughout June and into July, at locations including West Bay, Savannah, Bodden Town, North Side, Cayman Brac, Little Cayman and East End.

The panel at the front of the hall began by giving an overview to Plan Cayan, before the Floor was opened to questions. People lining up for their turn at the mic were limited to 2 minutes each, to make things fairer and give everyone a chance to speak. Panelists included Haroon Pandohie, Director of Planning, and Richard Mileham, Planning Officer Policy and Development, along with Central Planning Members Danette McLaughlin and Ian Pairaudeau.

“There’s a lot of technical expertise here, but as you know - especially if you’re doing something like the National Development Plan - it is driven by the involvement of the people and their interests,” said Pandohie. “We can come up with these technical pans and sit with people, and translate your hopes, your dreams and your visions into a technical planning document, but it requires the people sitting in this room to drive the process forward.”

One of the questioners from the Floor wondered why she had not been able to contact Richard for over a “year and a half,” with her query.

“As with any process, we need to be able to track the information...it has to be done in a manner in which everyone is able to engage at the same time because it is a national debate. You have to provide your engagement in writing at the time, so it can be archived and put into this process,” Pandohie responded. Another panelist added that, once the present consultation period had finished, there would also be an appeals process, and that time periods for both processes had been prescribed by law.

Another question from the Floor concerned, “No stormwater plan for the South Sound catchment area.” which is crucial to the area’s drainage, hydrology and marine life.” As a South Sound resident, she said, she was concerned for the apparent lack of “Joined up thinking.” between departments. Mr. Mileham answered by saying that he believed joined up thinking was an integral part of the document and the processes, and while stormwater drainage was referenced in the document, he also agreed that a stormwater management plan was needed for South Sound.

Another question concerned the differential of ‘commercial’ and ‘backyard’ farming for residential areas. “I say this because I live in a purely residential area, not zoned for agriculture, and a commercial farm was allowed to come up in the neighborhood. that affected my family’s daily quality of life, based on the daily spraying activities of that farm.”

“This highlights why we must update the Development Plan,” Pandhohie answered, “ A residential zone says: ‘the primary uses are residential and horticulture.’ the questioner replied that didn’t address her query about differentiation. “That’s why we’ve introduced the Area Plan Concept,” Pandohie said. “With Area Plans we are able to appreciate the uniqueness of an area such as George Town - to get in there and sit with residents and create an area plan...that reflects what they would wish for in their community.”

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