Skydiving club takes legal route

2010-04-19 00:00

A PUBLIC meeting was held at the Angels’ Way Skydiving Club in Eston last week, the first stage of a process aimed at rectifying illegal developments on the site that include the construction of an aircraft hangar, a road, a viewing area and swimming pool, a reservoir, a general workshop and an aircraft fuel storage facility.

The meeting followed an inspection of the site in November last year by representatives of the Mkhambathini Municipality, the Agriculture Department and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.

The department issued a compliance notice to the developer, Rob Taylor of Howick Retirement Villages (Pty), giving him two options: demolish the illegal structures or follow the 24G process as specified in Section 24G of the Environmental Management Act.

Taylor appointed John Richardson of Afzelia Environmental Consultants to undertake a Section 24G application. Once the process is complete, Angels’ Way will either get environmental authorisation or be instructed to cease activity. If the project is authorised, it will still have to lodge a development application.

Chairing the meeting, Richardson said he will be investigating the impact on biodiversity as well as social and economic issues. “We will look at visual intrusion and whether the development is in keeping with the character of the area,” he said.

He will also assess the impact on surrounding land users, which include farmers, bed-and-breakfast establishments and the nearby Tala Valley Game Ranch.

While there were concerns raised over adverse noise levels, other speakers said the development is a “wonderful addition to the community”.

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