Letter: Well-planned development is welcome in Barkers

Cabinet is considering a Coastal Works Application to clear sea grass and install a pier at Barkers Beach in West Bay. - Photo: Taneos Ramsay

As a family we have lived in the Barkers area (not the beach) for almost 50 years and I have always been amazed that the second best beach on Grand Cayman has gone undeveloped.

Getting to Barkers beach used to be quite an excursion as it was little more than a dirt track used mostly by West Bay fishermen. It was a wonderful, peaceful area and I used to ride my horse there. I do believe, however, that one horse creates a lot more sand movement than 100 humans. Nowadays, the main activity on the beach seems to be horse riding.

Then came the period of the sand stealers who dug out huge areas of other people’s land, sometimes to a depth of 10 to 12 feet. To gain access for their illegal activities, they made the track accessible for their trucks and mechanical diggers. As the area become more accessible by car, the illegal dumpers started to dump their garbage along the roadside. Then the Mosquito Research and Control Unit cut a series of canals throughout the area as part of the mosquito control program and this was like a gift from heaven, with all of these new canals just waiting to be filled with garbage.

Then government started to build a new road set back from the beach, with the hope of creating some development. It is still there, going from nowhere to nowhere.

The area also became a haven for illegal activity and wild dogs. At one point, the police used to lock off the area at dusk but that seems to have been stopped.

Development of the area is not wrong if it is done properly. Where would Cayman be today without development?

Part of Barkers beach is designated as a public park and should remain so. The beach that forms part of the park should be available for all to use without having to step around the garbage and other debris strewn around. That, of course, is where Dart’s money may be needed!

The remainder of Barkers beach could be developed, which would mean utilities being extended throughout. Proper lighting and bathroom facilities would be a great addition to the park. Also, having people living in the area should deter some garbage dumping, as one will notice that it all occurs beyond Pappagallo.

I would hope that the 1,000 odd petitioners in favor of leaving the Barkers area undeveloped will organize themselves into a clean-up party and go to the area once a month to remove the garbage that is regularly dumped there.

Neil Cruickshank

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  1. Every dredged project in the North Sound from Rum Point to Shores “destroyed” turtle grass. If any of the youth would take the time and look in the sea where these projects are they would “SEE” that the turtle grass came back. Starfish point is one of those new tourist attraction areas. Just put on a diving mask and snorkel and look.
    Grand Cayman is in the Cruise ship business since 1937 and has always had a beach for tourist to enjoy. Whether they get it free is not an issue. I personally think that Barkers is too far. I believe twin pines would be better. Maybe change the Governors’ residences to a more private area with more security like Vista del Mar. He could actually step out to his pool and be entirely private. We were so concerned with saving the swampland we forgot we don’t picnic or bathe in it. We should have kept a part of every point on the compass for public beach expansion due to inevitable growth of population.