How big is ‘heritage’?

2017-08-08 06:01

Green Point residents are being urged to have their say on a proposal to have the Green Point common, and perhaps even the stadium, declared a provincial heritage site.

The Green Point Ratepayers and Residents’ Association (GPRRA) is calling for support during a public participation process on the nomination for heritage status.

“After years of intense hard work we are nearing our dream of preserving the Green Point common as public open space that will be protected and conserved in perpetuity,” the association says in a statement.

The heritage status will vest responsibility for heritage management with Heritage Western Cape (HWC) in agreement with the City of Cape Town.

“In 2015 the City undertook to nominate portions of the common as a provincial heritage site, but did not follow through. GPRRA therefore took the initiative and asked Dr Antonia Malan to prepare and submit the dossier to HWC in 2016. A supplementary report was then developed in collaboration with heritage officials in the City that clearly expressed the historic and heritage values of this unique urban cultural landscape.

“The outcome was that the very persuasive proposal was supported and enthusiastically endorsed by civic and heritage groups and, most importantly, HWC has acknowledged that the common must be protected and conserved,” the association says.

Stuart Diamond, Mayco member for assets and facilities management, explains that the City proposed that the Green Point Urban Park and several open spaces around it be named a heritage area in recognition of the importance that these open, recreational spaces have played in the city’s history. This proposal was supported by the City council in April last year.

The GPRRA’s preferred boundary for the heritage area is based on the historic boundary of the area granted to the people of Cape Town in 1923 whereas the City motivated for an area that includes the park and selected sports facilities, but not the stadia or tennis area.

Another option was put forward, which includes most of the core historic precinct and the stadia. This boundary is supported by HWC.

“Unfortunately this is not a decision that the City, as the landowner, can support, because the restrictions on use of the stadium and other areas would place an unwarranted financial burden on the residents of Cape Town,” Diamond says.

“The GPRRA also proposed a far more extensive boundary that included, among others, the currently leased Virgin Active site, Cape Town Stadium, Helen Suzman Boulevard, the MyCiTi bus stop and the Green Point traffic department offices.

“The City wholeheartedly supports the recognition of the Green Point park and surrounding open public spaces as a heritage area, but the proposal that the new stadium and other currently leased areas be restricted from current or future use cannot be supported, nor does the value of these areas equate to the importance of the Green Point park.”

The 60-day public participation process continues until 1 September.

V Comments can be submitted to Heritage Western Cape at Private Bag X9067, 3rd Floor, Protea Assurance Building, Green Market Square, Cape Town 8000, for attention of Jonathan Windvogel. Alternatively, email jonathan.windvogel@westerncape.gov.za.

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