Locals object to building

2017-08-29 06:00
Under construction, the building in Observatory “messes with the view” of the area, residents say.PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

Under construction, the building in Observatory “messes with the view” of the area, residents say.PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

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Representatives of the Observatory Civic Association (OCA) are concerned about property development in Anson Street.

They claim the developer is overstepping the designs approved by the association.

Construction started early this year and the building’s height already exceeds that of all other buildings in the ­area.

People’s Post was unable to reach the developer for comment.

The convener of the association, Leslie London, says the OCA was approached by the developer but rejected the initial design because it was too imposing. He says they rejected it because it would have a negative visual impact on the neighbourhood.

“The new plans deviate from what the community had agreed to accept as a development in the heart of the heritage protection area and it will adversely impact on the village feel of Observatory.”

He says in the beginning procedures were followed and the City of Cape Town was engaged and had advertised a request for comment.

However, he says, developers started with construction before an approval was issued and now residents have realised that the building is higher than they ­expected. They want construction to be stopped and have City officials ­intervene.

“The letter of objection was submitted by the OCA to the City that advertised the request from the developers to add a further floor to their building. The City had advertised the request for comment. What happened was that before the period for comments closed, the developers began to proceed, erecting the columns for the additional floor, in flagrant violation of the City’s bylaws. They are not allowed to simply go ahead and build without permission.”

London says: “In addition to the City building inspector, Heritage Western Cape was alerted that the building was proceeding in a heritage protection overlay zone without them having seen or signed off on the plans.”

He says residents believe no building should be going on at all until all assessments has been finalised and the development has been approved.

“We want to see a development that can blend with the surrounding environment and is respectful of the heritage value of Observatory,” says London.

Paddy Chapple, ward councillor of Observatory, says he is aware of the construction and the objections by residents.

Councillor Suzette Little, Mayco member (North), says the development was approved in March and the developer has built according to the original plan that was ­approved.

She explains: “However, the developer started building an additional storey without approval. The application to permit an additional storey must still be referred to the municipal planning tribunal for a decision. The notice to cease works on the sixth storey was served on 17 July and the unauthorised building work on the sixth storey has been stopped.”

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