The Dart group has been granted permission to create a three-dimensional parcel above its tunnel on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway.
The move enables Dart to give the section of the highway within the tunnel to the National Roads Authority, without relinquishing its ownership of the base land parcel. Technically, Dart still owns the land beneath the road and the tunnel surrounding it, but the NRA will be able to take ownership of the road.
That means that Dart will be able to apply to build on top of the tunnel, or to subdivide and sell aerial parcels to other developers.
The rest of the highway extension, built by Dart and cutting through its land, has already been gazetted and moved into NRA ownership. But the section within the tunnel is still essentially a private road belonging to the Dart group.
The application was brought by Dart subsiduary Cayman Shores.
Eric Cronier, a land surveyor representing the developer at the Central Planning Authority on Friday, said, “This is why volumetric legislation was created.”
He said the sub-division meant that Dart retained ownership and responsibility for the physical structure while the NRA will own and be responsible for the roadway.
Dart retains ownership of the core parcel and can therefore apply, through separate planning applications, to build over the road.
A similar arrangement is planned for the tunnel on West Bay Road. Dart has previously outlined plans for a hotel, shops and restaurants as it expands Camana Bay over both roads to Seven Mile Beach.
Friday’s application did not include plans for any of that type of development, which is still very much in the early development stages.
Nigel Bates, a chartered surveyor for Dart, said on Friday that the intent of the application was to sort out the land ownership issues around the road. He said it was important that the NRA was able to own the public highway.
He said this would have needed to happen regardless of any future building plans.