November 28, 2023

MOU between CIG and Ironwood released

Kurt TibbettsAt a press conference on Tuesday (18) that was televised on the government CIGTV channel the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Cayman Islands Government and Ironwood Development Group was released. See attachments.

Premier Alden McLaughlin and Planning Minister, Kurt Tibbetts, emphasised the MOU was not binding.

The development involves plans to extend the east-west arterial road from Newlands to Frank Sound in order to support a proposed $360 million mixed-use community, resort and golf course in the eastern districts.

The reason given by government for the agreement being non binding is that the whole project has to follow the process set out in the Public Management and Finance Law and the associated Framework for Fiscal Responsibility (FFR). It will also require approval from the United Kingdom.

If the project does go ahead the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office would be the overseer.

McLaughlin and Tibbetts were angry at Opposition leader, McKeeva Bush’s, claim that the two ministers would gain from the project because of their family land connections, which were not declared by either men when the project was first announced.

Both ministers pointed out the current gazetted route that runs through the Mastic Reserve, the Salinas Reserve and the central wetlands, was set down during the 2001-2005 UDP administration. They said that the current administration had not sought out the developers of this project and the proposal had been discussed for more than four years. They said McKeeva Bush, when he was premier had given it his endorsement at a public meeting some time before.

McLaughlin and Tibbetts denied categorically they would benefit from the project and they had had nothing to do with the proposed routes.

They did, however, offer their support to the project as it would benefit other Caymanians with land in the area. The premier said that it was unfair to Caymanian land owners in the eastern districts for the country to try and sterilise their opportunities for development because of environmental concerns.

And there are many environmental concerns with the project.

The National Trust has said it will not give up its land. Government does has the power to compulsorily purchase private land but the Trust has extra protections over land vested under its ownership.

It is noticeable that the National Conservation Bill that was passed by the Legislative Assembly last year has not been ratified by Cabinet to have it passed into law.

EW Arterial Presentation- Maps_Page_1rotatedEW Arterial Presentation- Maps_Page_2rotated






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