Guest house man fights planned blocks of flats

2011-07-01 00:00

A SOUTH Coast guest house owner, Trevor Turnbull-Jackson, has applied to the high court in Pietermaritzburg to review and set aside approval granted in 2007 by the Hibiscus Coast Municipality for the development of two three-storey blocks of flats bordering his Ramsgate property.

According to heads of argument presented on behalf of Turnbull-Jackson in the high court this week, the developers continued to develop the flats notwithstanding the ongoing legal dispute spanning almost eight years.

Arguments are presented that the development affects Turnbull-Jackson’s sea views and privacy and affects his property value.

The case was adjourned to November 7 for argument because of the late filing of additional papers by the municipality in opposition to the application.

The dispute over the development by Pearl Star Investments CC on a property in Margate first started around 2003 when the developers applied to construct a six- storey block of flats.

According to heads of argument submitted on behalf of Turnbull-Jackson, the municipality approved the plans in February 2004 but the approval was set aside on appeal.

Meanwhile, the developers had already commenced construction of the flats and Turnbull-Jackson had to apply to the court to halt construction.

In 2005 it is alleged that the development company lodged further plans to construct two blocks of flats of three storeys each and sought to incorporate and “justify” the existing construction on the site.

According to the court papers, the municipality’s deputy municipal manager, J. van der Walt, approved the plans in July 2005, resulting in an immediate appeal by Turnbull-Jackson on various grounds, including that the municipality’s building control officer was not properly qualified or correctly appointed, that the flats would be unsightly and affect the other homeowners’ views and privacy and diminish the value of his property by between 15 and 30%.

Again Turnbull-Jackson went to court to interdict the developer from continuing with the construction pending the outcome of the legal proceedings.

In November 2006 Pearl Star Investments allegedly lodged “fresh” plans with the municipality, which were approved on ­November 20, 2007, again by Van Der Walt, who had approved the 2004 and 2005 plans, which had been set aside on appeal in both instances.

Turnbull-Jackson’s lawyers argue that the plans are substantially the same as the 2005 plans.

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