Garden on public road must be removed

The Department of Planning has ordered the owner of this new home on Mary Mollie Hydes Road to remove ornamental rocks and palm trees that encroach on the public road. - Photo: James Whittaker

The owner of a new luxury home on the waterfront in West Bay will be required to move ornamental rocks and palm trees that encroach on the public road.

The order from the Department of Planning follows public complaints – the latest scuffle over private development intruding on public space.

The Concerned Citizens Group, which has led the fight to maintain and protect beach access for Cayman residents, highlighted concerns over the development late last year.

They claimed the home, at the corner of Mary Mollie Hydes Road and West Bay Road, beside Alfresco restaurant, was spilling over its boundaries and onto the public road.

The planning department investigated the claims and agreed that landscaping features, including rocks and palm trees, had been built on the road.

Ron Sanderson, deputy director of planning, confirmed, “The owner’s representative has been advised that a Certificate of Occupancy will not be issued until the landscaping and rocks have been removed from the public road reserve.”

Members of the Concerned Citizens Group gather on a wall on Boggy Sand Road, near the home that they brought to the attention of the Department of Planning last year. – Photo: James Whittaker

Ezmie Smith, a member of the group, said the landscaping had reduced access to Mary Mollie Hydes Road for tour buses and others. She said the historic road was one of the last routes on the island where one could drive or walk and have an unobstructed view of the beach and the ocean.

Smith said she was happy that the planning department had ordered the rock garden be removed and urged it and the National Roads Authority to get on with the job.

“They should have them moved immediately,” she said. “If not, we have enough people who would be willing to come and assist them. I would be happy to drive a bulldozer myself.”

She added, “I am happy that planning has taken this on. It shows we are not just complaining for the sake of it.”

Alice Mae Coe, another member of the group, speaking at the site in late December, said she recognised it may seem like a small issue, but she said the group was committed to fighting to preserve public spaces from private development, particularly where beach access and ocean views were involved.

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