Four kiosks on Bodden Town’s Coe Wood Beach have been torn down after being padlocked and unused for four years.
Bodden Town MLA Osbourne Bodden said the huts were “rushed, and ended up being poorly designed and unusable.”
Mr. Bodden said he has been working over the past three-and-a-half years at getting the huts removed, but he did not want to move them until designs for replacement kiosks were in place.
“I’m looking forward to having these erected as soon as possible and district people having an outlet for their products,” he said.
Workers took down the sheds with their rusted zinc coverings over the Christmas holidays and loaded them onto trucks as residents watched.
The kiosks, which were completed in late 2012 as part of an effort to revitalize Coe Wood Beach, were intended as part of a public facility where vendors could showcase traditional foods, arts and crafts to the public. The plans for the beach initiative included the construction of a boat ramp, sidewalk and parking areas and a storytelling arena.
The boat ramp and car park were built in mid-2012 and officially opened in March 2013. The kiosks were completed in late 2012, but did not remain in use for long.
The opening of the kiosks was welcomed at the time, with some residents saying they offered a family-friendly spot from which they could better enjoy the beach, as well as a place for them to sell traditional items.
After the kiosks were built, however, tensions flared over their use. Unable to decide what to do with the kiosks, government ordered the doors padlocked.
Throughout the years, Coe Wood Beach was one of 40 sites on Grand Cayman identified as areas of natural beauty to be protected for public use, according to a 1974 study that served as the precursor to Cayman’s first real development plan of 1977. In that plan, the Coe Wood area was included as one of the ideal sites to be preserved as an open public space.