The National Conservation Bill will come as a relief to investors who want clear guidelines rather than ad-hoc policies on environmental restrictions on development, according to a statement from the Cayman Society of Architects, Surveyors and Engineers on the eve of the debate.
The society backed the bill as an “essential piece of legislation” saying it would provide clarity to developers and investors who wanted to know upfront what the requirements for environmental impact assessments were.
“The proposed National Conservation Law will eliminate the current practice of addressing the environmental concerns of a proposed major development on an ad-hoc basis without clear requirements or guidelines, which is a welcome relief to investors.
“Many international investors are accustomed to considering environmental aspects of a major development prior to the planning application process.” said the statement.
The society, whose members depend on development for their livelihood, may seem an unlikely ally for a bill that has faced criticism for its perceived potential to negatively impact development.
But CASE was unequivocal in its support with the majority of its members and the executive council describing it as an ‘essential piece of legislation that needs to be enacted as soon as possible’ following a survey.
The society called for design, development and construction professionals to be included as appointed members to the National Conservation Council.
The statement added: “CASE Executive Council is aware of the fact that critical to the long- term success of the National Conservation Law is the long overdue update to the Cayman Islands Development Plan and supporting Development and Planning Law and Regulations, as these updates more than any other law will ensure sustainable development in the Cayman Islands for current and future generations.”