Common up for heritage status

2016-04-12 06:00

The Green Point Urban Park and Green Point Track have been nominated for heritage status.

The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee last week identified the park and track as potential provincial heritage sites.

The park and track form part of the greater Green Point Common which is “one of Cape Town’s few heritage sites that tells a historically inclusive and unifying story of a city that was home to nomads, herders, sportspersons, soldiers, caregivers, convicts and slaves”, the City says in a statement.

In January, the Green Point Ratepayers submitted an independent application for the entire Green Point Common, erf 1056, to be classified as a heritage site (“Preservation plan”, People’s Post, 9 February).

Antonia Malan, the heritage consultant who prepared the application on behalf of the association, says the erf already has heritage status because it includes elements that are over 60 years old and other heritage worthy features – such as buildings, sports fields, traditions and tree plantings – and is associated with existing provincial heritage sites.

Heritage significanceThe organisation’s proposal is that the Common as a whole is declared and protected as a cultural and scenic heritage landscape.

Some areas which make up the original Common are already grade 2 heritage resources, such as Fort Wynyard and the Laboratory, and others have been recommended as grade 2 sites, such as the Green Point Track, Malan says.

At the time of the proposal, the association was not aware of the City’s intentions.

“After notifying the City of our proposal, we first learned that an internal process would be unfolding early in 2016. We understood that the two processes were complimentary but separate and the association submitted its nomination dossier to Heritage Western Cape on 21 January,” she says.

The City’s own Heritage Impact Assessment of this important asset stated that the Green Point Common was of high heritage significance.

Inclusive spaceIn order to allay fears of excessive commercialisation, disposal and attrition of the most precious components of the original site, the City nominated the park and track as a Grade Two provincial heritage site, says the City’s Mayco member for energy, environmental and spatial planning, Johan van der Merwe.

“The Green Point Urban Park is one of the City’s most inclusive open spaces as it reflects diversity and provides a beautiful recreational area for residents from all over Cape Town to come together and enjoy.

“It is for this very reason that the City aims to protect this area so that Capetonians can continue to embrace the beauty of the urban park and history of the area for generations to come,” he says.

The City is currently working on the Heritage Western Cape nomination application.

Malan adds: “We very much look forward to working with the City, Heritage Western Cape and interested and affected parties towards defining the boundaries of heritage significance of Green Point Common, and the declaration of the Common as a Provincial Heritage Site.”

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