PMB housing: Big development planned

2008-05-22 00:00

A solution for the demand of affordable housing in the city is the aim of a proposed development in Lincoln Meade.

Developers Sirius offer a concept known as a charter housing project, saying it is aimed at government employees and those in the low-to-medium income group — whose earnings range from about R7 500 to R25 000 per month.

The site of the development is on the New England Road extension about 1,5 km past the Pietermaritzburg Golf Club. It will feature a variety of housing styles, configurations and sizes, including a number of three-or-four-storey apartment blocks. Access to the site will be via an extension to Stamford Road, which will run through the centre of the development and exit on the upgraded New England Road.

The development will include school and community buildings. According to the developers, the classrooms will be the only areas exclusively for the use of the school. The school hall, library and sport facilities will be shared with the community so that resources are fully utilised.

Lincoln Meade residents who attended a presentation by the developers at the Pietermaritzburg Golf Club expressed reservations about the density of the project. Reynie van Huyssteen said 2 000 units are planned for a very small area and if an average of four people occupied each of these units it could mean 8 000 extra residents in the area.

Van Huyssteen said she worried whether the infrastructure — roads, sewerage and water systems — could cope.

Traffic was a particular concern, with residents saying the road system, which already becomes gridlocked during peak traffic, would have to be fully upgraded.

Charmaine Alverez worried that the development could lead to the lowering of values of their properties. She said currently many of the houses in the area have been valued at between R1,3 million and R1,4 million, but such a large development may mean that property values fall.

A local environmental consultancy, Terratest, has been engaged by Sirius to carry out an environmental impact assessment as required by the law.

Parties interested and affected by the development can contact Jan Norris at 033 347 3960 for more details on the development, e-mail norrisj@terratest.co.za or fax 033 347 3960.

nalini@witness.co.za

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