Questions surrounding planning approvals for the Kaaboo festival grounds took center stage at Wednesday’s (27 June) National Conservation Council meeting.
Council members representing the Department of Environment and Planning squared off over missed deadlines, and why the DOE’s comments were ultimately not taken into account in that decision as mandated by law.
“That is an active turtle nesting area, and now we have no planning permission requirement that mentions anything about turtle nesting,” said DOE Director and NCC member Gina Ebanks-Petrie during the meeting.
She said an absence of mitigation measures to address lighting and sound are among the significant implications of the CPA’s failure to consider conservation council input in its approval of the Kaaboo festival grounds.
The CPA in its answer cited missed deadlines.
“We were never told 9 May was a hard deadline,” said Ms. Ebanks-Petrie.
“Yeah, I understand, but the [Planning] department is going to argue that we gave three deadlines and none of the three were met,” responded Planning’s NCC representative Colleen Stoetzel, presenting a CPA viewpoint. “They’re going to say what is that reasonable amount of time to get that scoping opinion? So when we gave three deadlines and those three deadlines were not met.”
Ms. Ebanks-Petrie turned back the clock to 2013 and another application relating to the filling and clearing of the same lands.
“There was no mention of clearing, it was for subdivision, so there was no mention about clearing and filling, so we cannot find anywhere where there is any permission given, for the clearing and the filling of the land,” said Ms. Ebanks-Petrie.
“Planning permission for the clearing and filling of the properties was a part of the 6 August 2016 grant of planning permission for a six-lot subdivision combination,” wrote Planning Director Haroon Pandohie in response to the council’s 14 June letter.
After the meeting, Ms. Ebanks-Petrie was apparently unconvinced by that answer.
“There wasn’t any clearing and filling as far as we could ascertain in connection with that application, so, I think the representative from Planning Department is going to go back and check that out,” Ms. Ebanks-Petrie told Cayman 27.
The council resolved to draft another letter to CPA on the matter for clarification.
Representatives of the applicant, the Dart-affiliated Crymble Landholdings, were in attendance for the meeting.
A Dart spokesperson told us the company plans to meet with the DOE to address its concerns surrounding the event site in coming weeks.