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South Sound project secures public beach access

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A contract is in hand to acquire Smith Cove and Premier Hon Alden McLaughlin says it’s resolution may come as early as tomorrow, which is welcomed news on island.
But the Smith Cove dispute shone the light on a wider problem, that of striking a balance between preserving beach access while allowing and encouraging development.
However the Premier says with the South Sound seaside project in Government’s hands “we will avoid some of the issues that have occurred in the past where people have thought they should be able to develop some of that beach land along South Sound beach.”
Premier McLaughlin says in taking action along South Sound beach his administration will avert any Smith Cove-like situation in the future.
“We are hoping that what we are doing with this, once we are able to declare it as public open space, it will preserve the use of the beach and access to the beach in South Sound,” he said.
The project will be a quarter of a mile long and stretches from the dock in South Sound to Cayman Crossing.
“There is a boardwalk to stretch that entire distance, as well as cabanas and rest room and change room facilities to allow the enjoyment of that pristine beach area,” Mr McLaughlin said.
He says the planning process caused some delays, but within a couple of weeks swift progress will be made.
On Friday MLAs threw out wish lists for their districts; such as Ezzard Miller calling for Environmental Protection Fund withdrawals for the North Side seaside park, Opposition Leader Hon McKeeva Bush seeking the upgrade of the park in Batabano and House Speaker Juliana O’Connor-Connolly making a plug for Point of Sand.
“It is an Environmental Protection Fund.. not a development fund.. so we will have to consider the nature of the proposals by other members,” Mr McLaughlin explained.
With tight public purse strings striking the right balance between development, holding on to essential public spaces all while ensuring equitable distribution is a struggle this government faces.

About the author

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath is a Trinidadian journalist with 18 years media experience with a strong background in print with her most recent stint at The Cayman Reporter. She has a BA in Mass Communications, as well as, an Associate degree in Journalism and Public Relations.

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