Mills Circle residents willing to compromise

2013-01-25 00:00

RESIDENTS of Mills Circle in Hayfields have indicated willingness to compromise on the development of a major supermarket in their area.

They appeared yesterday before the Planning and Development Appeals Tribunal, at which they are appealing a decision by the Msunduzi Municipality to grant developer Nick Christodoulou permission to build a Mega Spar.

The tribunal will make its ruling in seven days.

Since the launch of the development in 2010, residents have fiercely opposed it, citing traffic and noise pollution problems.

Although they insist that first prize would be for the Spar to be placed elsewhere, they entertained suggestions to limit its impact on their lives if the development was approved.

Responding to a question from the chairperson of the tribunal, T.G Nkosi, about what could be done to limit its impact, one of the affected people, Dagny Ferreira, said the development was too close to her home.

“There will be a butcher just metres from my lounge and my kitchen; there will be trucks that start their deliveries at 5 am.

“This will be disturbing to all the people who live in that area.”

One of the suggestions put forward was that there should be a buffer zone between the houses and the Spar. A wall is to be built there, but the residents called for more protection.

“I would like if possible for the trees [that were uprooted during excavation] to be planted back.

“They protected me and right now there is nothing that is protecting me from the noise and the smell,” said Ferreira.

The residents’ lawyer, Jeremy Ridl, said the municipality had failed to consult them adequately on the development and that its approval had been undertaken by the then administrator, Sbu Sithole.

Ridl argued that Sithole did not have the power to do so.

The tribunal dismissed the argument, saying administrators had the powers to take such decisions.

Lawyers representing the municipality and Christodoulou rejected claims that the municipality had not followed proper procedures in approving the development.

• thamsanqam@witness.co.za

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