A blow for opponents of Mills Circle Spar

2013-01-21 00:00

RESIDENTS who are opposed to the controversial Hayfields SuperSpar development in Mills Circle are continuing their battle without the backing of SA Retail Properties, which owns the Pick n Pay Hayfields centre.

The provincial appeals tribunal that has the final say whether the development is to be given the green light, began its hearing at Natalia on Friday and submissions will continue today.

At the start of the session, Norman Brauteseth, representing SA Retail Properties, told the tribunal his client had reached an agreement with the developer, Nick Christodoulou, and SA Retail was withdrawing its appeal.

“We are withdrawing although SA Retail does … have sympathy with the community who are opposing the development,” he said.

Brauteseth told The Witness that SA Retail’s objection to the development concerned “practical issues” such as the appearance of the building and road access, but these issues had been resolved.

The developer had also agreed to abandon a clause in the documentation which permitted the possible development of a garage or filling station on the site, which SA Retail was dissatisfied with, although a garage does not form part of the existing plans.

Much of the initial arguments on Friday centred around legal issues raised, such as whether there had been proper service of documents on all interested parties to the appeal.

The municipality also gave a presentation to the tribunal showing the location of the proposed development and said the area has been identified as an economic opportunity node, as there are already numerous businesses in the area.

The application for the development was approved by Msunduzi administrator Sbu Sithole on June 30, 2011, despite several objections received. He defended the decision at the time on various grounds.

Appealing the decision before the provincial appeals tribunal is the Preservation of Mkondeni Mpushini Biodiversity Trust and residents Richard Spearman, L. Frost and Wendy Svendson.

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