Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) Annual Report 2013
In 2013 the SDU team (as part of the DoE’s Technical Review Committee) reviewed 37 planning applications and 23 coastal works applications. These applications ranged from small-scale coastal developments through to large-scale Planning Area Development applications.
As shown below, of the planning applications reviewed by the DoE over half of the applications were recommended for approval, with 38% recommended for refusal. Of these applications, you can see from below that 62% of the applications were approved by the Central Planning Authority (CPA), 22% are awaiting determination, 16% were deferred and none of the applications that the DoE reviewed were refused by the CPA.
Of the 37 planning applications reviewed by the DoE, Environmental Impact Assessments were recommended for 3 of the applications: two PAD applications relating to Health City Cayman (2,000 bed hospital, hotels, assisted living, residential development, educational facility and supporting infrastructure); and, City Services Cayman PAD application (131 acre mixed-use scheme comprising uses such as hotels, apartments, retail, commercial offices, bars & restaurants, gymnasiums, educational facilities, churches and a cinema). Of these applications, the CPA did not recommend carrying out EIAs for any.
In terms of coastal works applications, the DoE recommended 65% of applications for approval and 22% for refusal. Of these applications, 52% have been approved by Cabinet and 9% have been refused. 35% of the applications are awaiting determination by Cabinet. Of the 23 applications, the DoE recommended 2 applications for an EIA – both applications related to the same site and development (dredging of a channel in the Duck Pond, North Sound through the Mangrove Buffer Zone). The recommendation for an EIA to be carried out was endorsed by Cabinet.
Members of the SDU have been actively involved in the EIA currently being scoped for the proposed cruise berthing facility in George Town. The EIA will investigate issues such as sediment transport (and potential impacts to Seven Mile Beach), the wave climate in George Town, water quality impacts, socio-economic considerations, cultural heritage, transportation issues in George Town, ecology and a number of other issues.
The Unit continues to promote sustainable living and, leading by example, members of DoE staff helped celebrate Earth Day (21 April) by hosting a ‘Living Green Fair’ with the Department of Tourism and organised a ‘Carbon Footprint Day’ whereby staff travelled to work as sustainably as possible – this included staff cycling, car sharing, using public transport and even kayaking in to work!