Development drama

2015-05-05 06:00

Residents of Rosebank are up in arms over a new ultra-high-density development being planned for the suburb.

The proposed application involves rezoning of erven 31589 and 31590 on the corner of De Villiers and Campground roads from Single Residential Zone 1 to General Residential Subzone GR2.

Jonathan Hobday, chairperson of the Rosebank and Mowbray Civic Association, says they are “extremely perturbed” by the proposal because they fear it will result in over-densification of the property, to the detriment of the area.

“Such willy-nilly development will undermine its residential ethos, create dangerous traffic congestion in narrow side-streets and the busy Campground Road, intrude on the privacy of immediate neighbours, depress property values, sharply increase noise nuisance and destroy precious heritage,” he says.

Hobday adds “the site is much better-suited to a lower-density development more in keeping with the family character of the Rosebank area”.

“We believe it is vital to have a comprehensive environmental impact study and traffic impact study, as well as an in-depth heritage audit. It is also vital to ensure wide consultation with all the residents of the area, before rushing headlong into planning approval – and to take account of reasonable suggestions and objections,” Hobday explains.

He says it is a matter of deep concern that the City Council’s record in such matters in recent times has proved to be “cavalier and insensitive”.

“We call on the City planners and elected representatives to be more circumspect and imaginative in their approach to this development,” he says.

Meanwhile, Hobday says the association – through its planning and aesthetics sub-committee – will continue to engage with the developers directly “in pursuit of a win-win compromise”.

He adds they took a constructive view of development of the site “in the belief that it presents as much an opportunity as a threat and that sensible and appropriate planning can result in a marked upgrading of the area”.

Councillor Johan van der Merwe, Mayco member for energy, environmental and spatial planning, confirmed they received an application on 18 February. The applicant is Tim Spencer Town Planning CC.

“The application involves alterations to an existing block of flats as well as new flats. There are currently nine flats on the property and the application proposes to increase this to 30 flats,” Van der Merwe says.

However, he says the application has not yet been advertised, as it is still in the early stages of its submission. Van der Merwe says the applicant still needs to attend to the outstanding requirements before the application can be advertised

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