Hayfields says no to mega Spar

2011-05-16 00:00

IF Hayfields residents have their way the proposed development of a mega Spar in Mills Circle is dead in the water.

Last week the developers held a public meeting at the Bessie Head Library to outline the proposed development. The meeting followed a visit to the site.

The development has been in the planning stage for the past 18 months and reaction by residents points to further delays.

Anand Singh of the Msunduzi town planning department, who chaired the meeting, said they had received more than 60 written objections, while only three people wrote to affirm support.

Resident Richard Franz, representing a number of residents, produced a 34- page document detailing the traffic problems the suburb would experience if the development were to go through.

Residents said they already have a heavy folow of traffic daily and if the development proceeds the situation will become unbearable.

Said Franz, “It’s not that we are opposed to the development. We want the Spar in the community, but we just think that the Spar could be located in another area as this one is already congested with traffic.”

Resident Stephen Corry said the development would put more pressure on the delicate sewage and storm drainage system.

“Houses on the bottom end of Mills Circle are already facing storm drainage problems, and with this new development who will be held responsible for … flooding to those houses?” he asked.

Several residents proposed that the development be relocated to vacant land, possibly on Cleland Road.

“For a developer this is about money and for us this is about our lives,” said a resident who did not identify herself.

She said the development would bring massive disruptions to their lives.

“I do not understand why the development should be located within the suburbs when there is vacant land available.”

Developer Nick Christodoulou said the objections are stifling projects in Pietermaritzburg. “Development is the way of the future; this has the potential to create jobs.”

He said the project has been held up for 18 months. “In those 18 months I have built two Spars in other parts of the country.”

Melanie Veness of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business said residents and the developer should find a common ground.

“Pietermaritzburg needs to develop and to create jobs to deal with unemployment and the high crime rate,” she added.

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