(CMR) Several applications for major housing developments will be discussed at this week's Central Planning Authority meeting, including a 184-lot subdivision on Austin Connolly Drive in East End which the Department of Environment does not support.
In the agenda for the meeting to be held on Wednesday, 25 October, the Department of Environment explained that the subject parcels for the development by Invicta Construction in East End fall within the natural distribution range of the Blue Iguanas that have been released into the Colliers Wilderness Reserve and their presence has been confirmed on Colliers Wilderness Reserve Rd. and to the south.
The DoE stated that Blue Iguanas are listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List and they are a Part 1 protected species under the National Conservation Act (2013), making them a species ‘protected at all times’. Blue Iguanas are endemic to Grand Cayman meaning they are unique to Cayman and found nowhere else on Earth. They are an iconic Caymanian flagship species and their presence serves as a valuable tourism asset. Blue Iguanas typically live solitary, territorial lives.
As they recover from the brink of extinction and reproduce and seek to establish territory, the urbanisation of valuable primary habitat continues to be a concern for the future of our wild population that rely on this habitat to forage, shelter and nest. Heavy machinery can crush or bury iguanas and their nests. It is therefore crucial that no mechanical clearing, excavation or filling takes place prior to DoE consultation, the DoE further stated.
While the DoE does not support the approval of this application, it stated that should the Central Planning Authority or Planning Department be minded to grant planning permission for the proposed subdivision, it recommends there be no land clearing, excavation, filling or development of the resultant parcels without planning permission for such works being granted. It also recommended that for any future development, clearing, filling or excavation of the resultant subdivided parcels shall be the subject of a separate consultation with the National Conservation Council.
The Water Authority also said this development is located over the East End fresh water lens or within the 500m buffer zone of the lens. In order to protect the fresh water lens, the Water Authority requests that stormwater drainage wells are drilled to a maximum depth of 80ft. instead of the standard depth of 100ft. as required by the NRA.
Also, among applications for housing developments were Casabella Development which has submitted an application for a 257 lot subdivision on Frank Sound Road, North Side. Allan Brown has submitted application to build six town houses off of Spice Drive in Bodden Town. Bruce Reynolds submitted application for a duplex at at Ebanks Road in West Bay. Carlos Franky has an application for 40 apartments at Capts Joe and Osbert Rd, West Bay, and Hamlin Stephenson has an application for a 19 lot subdivision on Ellis Connolly Drive, Beach Bay.