Public’s input sought on development plan

Government is seeking public input on a new development plan for Grand Cayman.

The Department of Planning has launched a website where members of the public can view plans for long-term development and land use on the island and give feedback. The project is dubbed “Plan Cayman.”

This will be the first development plan the government has drawn up in 20 years. It looks at future infrastructure demands for Grand Cayman, such as new schools, roads, and public transport improvements required in the years ahead, as well as balancing the protection of the environment with ongoing development.

Minister of Planning Joseph Hew said in a press release, “Our infrastructure has a direct impact on our businesses, communities and families; and to ensure it is sustainable in the future, we need the public to have its say.”

The plan can be viewed online at www.plancayman.ky.

National Planning Framework

The first document to be made available online for public input is the National Planning Framework, which was drafted by the Central Planning Authority under the mandate of the Development and Planning Law.

The document sets out the long-term goals for land use and also covers the natural environment, transportation, infrastructure, recreation and open spaces. It also builds on information gathered during previous public outreach programs, according to the Department of Planning.

The government’s vision for the National Planning Framework is outlined in the document: “High-density developments and major commercial uses will be focused in identified suitable areas, although locally serving neighbourhood centres and smaller-scale tourism will be encouraged in other locations around the Island.

“Sustainable growth in residential development will be accommodated throughout Grand Cayman and facilitated by improved connections. Natural environmental assets will be protected and enhanced wherever possible.”

Haroon Pandohie, director of the Department of Planning, said his department is consulting with relevant public authorities and interested parties, as well as engaging with the public, to ensure agreement on the approach of the plan.

“We want the public to be involved, because this directly impacts the community,” he said. “Plan Cayman is an opportunity to guide the future of Grand Cayman. At this stage, we want to know whether you think we are on the right track.”

Central Planning Authority Chairman A.L. Thompson stated in the press release that he was “very pleased” to see the department moving forward with this project, adding, “We are looking forward to hearing what the public has to say on the matter.”

Updates on the plan will also be posted on the government and Ministry of Planning social media pages.

The deadline for receipt of comments from the public on the National Planning Framework is Monday, Jan. 28, 2019.

Next steps

According to government, the document will be revised based on feedback received from the public. Following that, the department will begin preparing more detailed “area plans” for various parts of Grand Cayman, beginning with the Seven Mile Beach tourism corridor. The public will be invited to be involved in that process.

The various documents will then be amalgamated to create the draft of the Development Plan.

“This is just the beginning of this process,” said Mr. Pandohie in the release. “As we move forward, there will be more opportunities for the community to get involved and help shape the overall plan, and we encourage people to take advantage of this opportunity.”