Pelham residents irked over proposal for ‘student accomodation’

2015-03-21 00:00

PELHAM residents are up in arms over a proposed development which will most likely create an influx of students into the area.

A closed corporation, identified as Pelham 4 Property CC, submitted an application to the Msunduzi Municipality town planning section to build three blocks of flats between Jesmond and Alexandra roads.

The municipality recently released a notice to rezone the area from special residential to general residential for public comment.

Concerned residents said the proposed development is student accommodation, but the architect, who identified himself only as R. Kaye, said the residents were misinformed.

“The proposed building is for residential flats. I am not sure why the residents think it is for students.”

But one of the pages in the proposal, seen by The Witness in the town planning offices, says “proposed development for student accommodation”.

Each block will consist of three levels.

Irked residents say they were not informed about the development. “This area’s infrastructure is 40 years old and cannot cope with pressure from additional people,” said a source, who asked not to be named.

In the past, there have been complaints from residents, especially around the Scottsville area where students were renting in private homes.

“The student numbers have exploded, and the universities let it be known that they need accommodation and now every Tom, Dick and Harry is opening a place for student accommodation.

“We are not against the building of another complex in the area, but we are against the building of student accommodation. Students are students, they make noise, they party and this is a residential area where families live,” continued the source.

He said there was already a block of flats in the area housing students.

With the influx, residents fear it will place a high demand on already fragile infrastructure.

“The sewerage system is already under pressure. There are water problems. There are traffic problems and the situation will get worse,” he said.

Another resident also expressed similar concerns, saying the area’s infrastructure was ageing.

Kaye said: “These will be two-bedroom apartments and we have complied with all the council regulations.”

Acting municipal communications manager Nqobile Madonda said the proposed development was still in the public comment phase.

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