Housing development approved despite beach concerns

Plans for 19 new homes and a man-made beach bordering the marine park in George Town have been given the go-ahead by the Central Planning Authority.

The plan from Coriander Development Ltd. is the latest project to be approved for the site on South Church Street.

Planning officials first approved a project for 42 apartments at the location in 2000. The project stalled but has re-emerged this year as a housing development, with communal pool and beach.

Papers from the Central Planning Authority meeting last week indicate an estimated $19.5 million budget for the project but give no indication of the size and likely cost of the new homes.

In its submission to the Central Planning Authority, Coriander states, “Even though the lot is zoned for beach resort/residential, allowing for a larger development with higher buildings and greater density, the developer has opted to develop a project of single family homes, which is more in line with the surrounding communities ….

“We believe our development would be an enhancement to the neighboring community, while keeping in line with the density of existing projects around it.”

The project was approved despite concerns from the Department of Environment, particularly regarding the creation of a new beach.

The department expressed concerns that wave action in the area would cause sand from the beach to wash onto the reef, affecting coral in the marine park.

“Given the shortage of natural beach sand on the island and the wave climate in this location, the department is concerned that the creation of an artificial beach in this location is unsustainable,” the department wrote in its analysis.

“The sand is highly likely to wash into the sea and need to be re-nourished on an ongoing regular basis. This raises concerns with regard to finding a source of beach quality sand and the creation of sedimentation and turbidity within the Marine Park arising from sand washing into the sea.”

The department indicated that other artificially created beaches in the area are already causing similar problems.

“The issues surrounding this are most notable from the Casa Luna development on South Church Street which resulted in chronic sedimentation in the Marine Park and resulted in numerous complaints from the public and water sports sectors,” it states.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. I think that the first northwester would make them regret making this development and approving this development. Removing that shoreline to make a beach is the dumbest idea I ever heard.
    All of the sand would be washed out in the water, and the waves would go in land. I hope that Planning reverse their decision on this , because this is not good for no one.

    I never heard or read about any scientific research study done on this project. Has one been done yet?
    The project was approved depite objections from the DOE, then what is the use of the DOE?

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  2. As far as I am aware this “beach” was originally mangrove and was artificially manufactured with hundreds of loads of fill, despite it’s proximity to the Marine Park area. All this with the tacit approval of Planning who seem to have developed a close relationship with the developer over many years. If we are ever to take environmental concerns and laws, seriously, to protect our future, then this should not be happening.

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  3. As my dear departed Mum used to say, $$$$$$ walks and b s talks…. Amazes me that such small parcels can turn into large developments….What do I know though, I am not a DOE employee…..

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  4. I misread the article thinking it was South Sound. However we can’t allow beaches to be manufactured all along South Church St just to suit the developers as the iron shore is protection against hurricanes.

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