Proposal is ‘highly speculative,’ warns DoE
First sold to investors as a luxury housing development around a golf course, a long-discussed project near Rum Point has gone through another metamorphosis as it works its way through the planning process.
In 2011, Crown Acquisitions was marketing lots for sale at what was then described as the Dubli Golf & Beach Resort.
At the time, the company had obtained planning permission for a subdivision of 64 house lots, but not for a golf course, or for any specific building work.
Early development plans, shared with the Cayman Compass, showed a four-hole golf course. At the time, the company’s director indicated all the lots had been sold and they were looking to buy surrounding land for a larger course.
More than four years later, no application has been made for any golf holes and that aspect of the development appears to have been dropped from marketing materials and from the plans.
Crown World’s website is currently advertising 14 “luxury townhouses” at the site, which it is calling No. 1 Rum Point, at pre-build prices of just under US$1 million.
The site suggests construction could begin in the first quarter of 2016.
Crown Acquisitions World Wide was before the Central Planning Authority again last month, where it was granted permission to modify its existing planning permission for the 27-acre site, combining some of the house lots into apartment lots and changing the ownership structure from freehold to a raw land strata.
Paperwork submitted with that application indicates the company now expects the development will include 140 family apartments, as well as 15 residential lots and two gyms.
A previous planning application indicated a two-hole golf course could be included as land for public purposes on the site. That was changed in later applications to two lakes, and then to a pool.
The Central Planning Authority granted approval to modify the planning permission, despite noting that it had previously determined the site was unsuitable for apartments. It said any plan to build apartments on the site would require a separate planning application that would be considered on its merits.
The company would also need to seek separate planning permission to build any townhouses in the area.
The Department of Environment cautions in its notes on the latest application that permission should not be given for any clearing of natural vegetation on the site until construction is about to begin.
It stated, “The DoE regards this proposal as highly speculative, given the many different applications that have been made by this applicant for this site.”
It states that the land was cleared of dry forest, dry shrubland and mangrove forest prematurely, following the initial approval of the subdivision in 2009.
“As with any development of this scale, the DoE is of the view that permission to clear the area of the ecologically productive natural habitat should not have been given prior to the confirmation that construction works on the properties were to begin imminently,” it states.
The department also expresses concern about mooted plans for a 4.5-acre pool at the site and expresses further skepticism about the imminence of any development on the site.
“The DOE would once again recommend, as previously, that the small areas of remaining natural habitats on the site be maintained and further clearing is only permitted at the time necessary to begin construction, rather than several years in advance.”
Crown Acquisitions director Darryl Pickthall did not respond to requests for comment last week.