City official, Save Our Berea campaigners finally meet

2014-02-06 00:00

A MEETING yesterday between a senior city official and members of the Save Our Berea Campaign seems to have thawed the frosty relationship which appeared to have developed between the two parties.

Yesterday morning, members of the campaign’s working committee, Kevin Dunkley and Cheryl Johnson, met Lekha Allopi, senior manager in the city’s Land Use Management Branch, to discuss Berea residents’ concerns about the new building at 340 Stephen Dlamini (formerly Essenwood) Road, where they allege there have been transgressions of the city’s planning and building by-laws.

According to Dunkley, the meeting was amicable although not ultimately very productive as their concerns were outside Allopi’s jurisdiction.

“She said that when the plans came across her desk, everything was okay according to the city’s planning by-laws,” he said.

As the alleged transgressions appear to have taken place during construction, the matter now falls under the municipality’s enforcement and prosecution department. Dunkley said he would contact Richard Holgate in this department to set up a meeting and take the matter forward.

Last Friday, Allopi had not been present when Dunkley and Johnson arrived for a diarised meeting. This apparent snub on Allopi’s part was the subject of a post on the Save Our Berea Facebook page and an article in Monday’s Witness.

Dunkley subsequently received an e-mail from Allopi, apologising for the mishap and suggesting the meeting that took place yesterday.

Dunkley said he was happy after the meeting. “We are all on the same side when it comes to enforcing by-laws.”

He said Allopi had also offered to address a meeting of Berea residents to explain how the city’s planning and development regulations work.

• Stephen.Coan@witness.co.za

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