• Cayman News Service

(CNS): The destruction of a stone wall believed to have been built by slaves more than 200 years ago has further highlighted the lack of heritage protection in Cayman. A historic wall was demolished to make way just off Walker’s Road for the proposed project, but witnesses said the wall was standing firm and the people involved in its removal It stated that the demolition was a crime because it was on land that did not belong to it.

Witnesses claim police at the scene could have stopped the demolition if they had checked relevant documents. I can confirm that it is being investigated as part of an investigation into all the circumstances surrounding the incident.

The demolition of walls in the Webster’s Estate area hit social media this weekend, prompting renewed calls to legally protect the nation’s structures before it’s too late and everything related to Cayman’s heritage is demolished. I’m here.

CNS saw documents showing the walls to be on land owned by Sandra Meakins, who said the land was purchased by her grandfather in 1920. However, she is currently abroad for her health reasons and was in no position to confront her neighbors who broke down her walls.

Due to ill health, Meekins was unable to discuss the record with CNS and is currently transferring the case to an attorney. However, she confirmed that it was destroyed without her permission or knowledge.

Other residents of a small community near Walkers Road who had tried to help were at the scene when heavy equipment first arrived on August 17 and began to tear down the wall. However, officers who answered calls that could have prevented the demolition allowed the demolition to continue.

People who saw the destruction told CNS that police tried to arrest them, citing the bulldozer driver.

RCIPS says it is currently supporting partner institutions. The planning department issued an enforcement notice due to lack of permission to remove the land, but work on the site was halted by the planning department as it had stalled until most of the wall had already been removed. turned into a pile of rubble.

“There is an ongoing investigation into crimes related to violations of the peace reported to the police,” RCIPS told CNS in response to our inquiry, and officers were called in connection with the matter on the 17th. Confirmed, again on August 20th.

A complaint against two police officers at the scene was also lodged with the Professional Standards Unit regarding charges that they stood by and allowed the developer to tear down the wall despite being informed of the situation. Police confirmed Friday that reports of theft, trespassing, and allegations of criminal damage were also made in connection with the wall’s demolition.

An RCIPS spokesperson said, “This report, along with the aforementioned reports, is currently under investigation by police. RCIPS is also reviewing the actions taken by the officers present.”

An eyewitness to the incident, who spoke to CNS about the situation and asked not to be named given the tension the situation caused, provided documents supporting Meakins’ position that the wall was firmly secured to her property. provided. They said authorities’ failures during the demolition fueled the crime, and one witness told CNS that it would set a horrific precedent if not addressed.

“Police officers were unable to stop the bulldozer driver based solely on the bulldozer driver’s claims,” ​​he said.

The driver reportedly told police the wall was on land owned by Harvey Construction’s Lester Harvey and his family, and he was given the job of tearing it down. Ultimately, most of the wall was crushed, even though one witness tried to stop the work.

“This sends a chilling message to all property owners. “If they let it happen in this case, it could happen to anyone. It’s a very disturbing prospect.” If there are no consequences in a difficult situation, whose property will be safe?”

Since the Wall was torn down, Harvey states that he never considered the Wall to have any historical value and had no way of knowing this, but if he had known, he would not have taken the Wall down. But he claims it was on his land and had the right to move it. It shows that it is firmly anchored in the

Some of the destroyed wall stones are believed to have been hand-carried from the seaside by slaves two centuries ago and have already been moved in connection with the theft allegations, but some were as of Thursday. I was still at the scene in the afternoon.

alike two old buildings It was recently demolished, but the National Trust for the Cayman Islands said it was not informed that there was a site of historical importance on it. resume It was scheduled for demolition.

“We understand that the National Trust was not only unaware of the plans to demolish this old stone wall, but that it also shocked local residents and members of the wider community,” the trust said in a statement.statement issued to cayman compass“This has once again brought to the forefront the need for educational awareness in the community to inspire respect and raise pride in Cayman’s heritage and heritage. It’s becoming more and more important, along with the laws to do so.”

The Trust asks property owners to check the National Heritage Register to see if their property is listed and, if not, to relocate or relocate a traditional home or historic site. I am asking you to cooperate with them on the demolition plan.

following the recent demolition two old houses On the Georgetown waterfront earlier this month, the trust said it was working with the government to advise on how to implement protections.

Under current development and planning laws, property owners have no legal obligation to warn the trust of their intention to demolish an old structure. However, if you notify the trust, they may find a solution other than destroying it.

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