Pelham opposes garage

2011-10-19 00:00

PELHAM residents are still united in their opposition to the proposal of a developer to put up a filling station on Oribi Road.

This emerged during a consultative meeting on the environmental impact assessment (EIA) study that was held recently at the Dutch Reformed Church in Pelham.

Of the 318 comments recorded about the proposed development, only one person approved of the proposal and 315 others were against it.

The developer bought two houses in Oribi Road, hoping to demolish them and build a filling station.

Resident questioned whether the developer is an official at the Msunduzi Municipality but this was denied.

Mike Horan, chairperson of the Pelham Senior Primary School governing body, said many stakeholders and interested parties could not attend the meeting.

He questioned the EIA report, which stated that the proposed filling station would not attract additional vehicles to the area.

“We would like to question the economic viability of this proposed filling station if it is not going to attract additional vehicles in the area,” he said.

Horan said many children use the pedestrian crossing opposite Shackle­ford Road every day.

“This site was allocated by the traffic department as it was established to be the safest and most convenient place to cross,” said Horan.

Any proposal to move the manned pedestrian crossing will significantly increase the potential risk of injury or death to the people who use it, he said.

Horan raised the prospect of a possible increase in crime, particularly the abduction of young children.

“This is a major concern as this school has served the Pelham community with distinction for the past 57 years,” said Horan.

He said the safety of pupils is a major priority and a business venture that puts the children at risk would not be acceptable.

Paul Gaydon, a consulting scientist, complained about a number of flaws in the report.

“The queuing theory was not done,” he said, adding that no traffic expert was present to answer questions.

He threatened to report personally to the minister if community continued to be misled about the proposed development.

He also complained about the incomplete hydrogeology, traffic plan and social studies, which he deemed to be poor and superficial.

“Issues are glossed over,” he added.

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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