Very recently proposals for a new mysterious road to be built in Little Cayman have been tabled by the Cayman Islands Department of Environment.
This road, should it be built, could open up access to some 200 acres of “pristine primary habitat” to potential residential and commercial development. The National Conservation Council is requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment before the half a mile long area of roadway is formally gazetted. The “Spine Road”, as it is called, would be an extension to a previously gazetted, unconstructed thoroughfare. Many are asking, why does Little Cayman need this new road?
The plan to construct this new roadway is supported by the District Administration for the Sister Islands. The Department of Environment has commented that they do not understand what strategic assessment has been done to support the construction of the proposed roadway, contending that there may not be any whatsoever. They go on to posit that it is highly unlikely that the proposed street has been evaluated against any formal development plan or strategy as one does not exist for Little Cayman save for what has been done in the past. It seems that the choice to place this road is one that was made completely arbitrarily and one undertaken without a Strategic Environmental Assessment or any form of strategic consideration against a long-term development strategy for Little Cayman. The head of the Department of Environment remarked that the people of Little Cayman are commonly opposed to development of this sort and suggested there was no observable need for a new road to meet the sister island’s current transportation requirements.
The installation of this major roadway without any proper development control mechanisms is certain to transform land use on either side of the newly proposed corridor. This will likely lead to wide-reaching development impacts affecting the character of the tiny island. The local community holds very robust views regarding the long-term development vision for Little Cayman and most residents want Little Cayman to remain, for the most part, undeveloped. The current road proposal was revised from a much longer proposed route, one that was previously evaluated by the Department of Environment.The council required an EIA before the route could be officially gazetted.
Many people in Little Cayman have expressed strong feelings with respect to this latest roadway proposal. A great many people feel that there is no need for this road continuation whatsoever. They contend that why, if this thorough fare is seriously being considered, shouldn’t the first prioritybe the paving and proper completion of the road that already exists and circum navigates Little Cayman? They also remark that several miles of McCoy’s Road is still comprised primarily of dirt and that its current condition is pitted, overly dusty and in dire need of repair. Their arguments are further bolsterd by the existence of dozens of other “new development” roads that cut into the island’s interior and that have no new developments or planned builds on them whatsoever.
Why were these roads put there and why was permission even granted to build them in the first place? Locals assert that a new road is wholly unnecessary and shouldn’t even be considered as a use of public monies in Little Cayman.