Cayman 27 understands on Wednesday (19 February) that permission has been granted by the Central Planning Authority for one Bodden Town quarry to excavate its pit deeper.
Environmental concerns over the town’s Meagre Bay Pond were up for consideration before the CPA.
The Department of Environment was seeking assurances that certain criteria must be met first in order to protect the pond in question. We understand those conditions have been imposed on the quarry owner.
Bodden Town’s Meagre Bay Pond is at the heart of this issue. There were fears, too, that flocks of birds including herons and egrets could be put at risk.
The owner of the quarry in questions was seeking permission to dig deeper, to 50 foot.
The DOE were concerned that the quarry, along with its neighbour, are producing excess water which impacts on food supplies for local wildlife.
The solution proposed?
A berm, or protective barrier, which would mitigate the potential damage. Such a barrier already exists on the neighbouring quarry.
The National Conservation Council was insistent this condition must be included before permission could be granted to the quarry.
Time, too, is of the essence. The NCC insisted the berm must be completed before the quarry can be allowed to expand.
Other issues brought before the CPA included concerns the existing excavation has already gone beyond designated boundaries.
The board also weighed up whether expanding already-operational pits was more environmentally sound than creating new ones. Issues of whether this created a monopoly for existing owners were counter-raised.
Discussions over a potential safety ledge and access-way were also had.
The board noted in their considerations that the neighbouring quarry had already been granted permission to excavate to the 50-foot depth requested by the current applicant.
The full agenda of today’s CPA can be found here.