Plans for mid-market homes

2009-08-19 00:00

THE increasing demand for reasonably priced homes for middle-income earners living in the city is expected to be addressed once the Msunduzi Municipality gives the green light for the Lincoln Meade housing development.

A report tabled at yesterday’s corporate strategic planning committee meeting revealed that Pietermaritzburg’s capital status has resulted in increased migration over the past few years. Another 10 000 people are expected to move to the city as result of the re-allocation of the provincial legislature and the rationalisation of government departments.

In order to address the increasing demand for housing, a proposal for the establishment of a residential development in Lincoln Meade was made, targeting those earning between R7 500 and R20 000 a month.

There will be 233 single residential units and 1 276 apartment units and future zoning will make provisions for community businesses and a mixture of convenience shops. In addition, provision has been made for a school, library, community hall, sports field, formal worship sites and land for various social and civic uses.

About 500 people are expected to be permanently employed and the municipality is set to receive R450 000 a month in revenue from municipal rates.

In order to discourage the continuous use of private vehicles by the residents, the development has been designed so that all areas are no greater than a five-minute walking distance from communal facilities and the central area.

Municipal manager for real estate and valuations Blackie Zwart said a decision was taken in February 2006 by the former council to enter into land development with the developer whereby council would receive a percentage of the sale price.

“Everything was above board and council is now contractually bound to approve this,” he said.

When deputy municipal manager for development services Skhumbuzo Mpanza inquired whether the project complied with the land disposal policy (LDP), Zwart said that because the policy was approved by full council only in December 2007, this was not the case.

“At the time that this was agreed to, there was no LDP or task team, but it still complied with what was then the correct procedure and legislation that was in place,” he said.

Mpanza said that although he is not opposed to the development, legal opinion is needed to ensure that no problems arise in future.

It was then recommended that the issue be brought into compliance with the Development Facilitation Act before being dealt with by the land disposal committee. Legal opinion will then be sought before further decisions are taken.

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