Battle over sea view reaches Concourt

2010-08-04 14:44

The Constitutional Court will consider a dispute concerning building plans that might block a neighbour’s panoramic Cape Town sea view when it sits in Johannesburg tomorrow.

The five-year dispute involves property owner Gerda Harrison, the municipality of Cape Town and the Camps Bay Ratepayers’ Association, and a plot of land in the sought-after suburb.

The land had a single storey cottage on it when Harrison acquired it in 2004.

She decided to have a three storey building constructed, which the residents’ association said would spoil the panoramic sea views of a nearby property.

However, in spite of the association’s objections, the plans were passed and they then tried unsuccessfully to get a court order to set aside the plans.

They failed, going as far as the Supreme Court of Appeals, and the matter was now to be decided by the judges of the highest court in the land.

The court must consider three constitutional issues: the first relates to the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act which provides that plans should be refused for a building which will probably or in fact adversely affect the value of adjoining or neighbouring properties.

The second issue concerns whether the association can raise a new ground of review after the expiration of the 180 day period.

The third is from a provision in the title deed of Harrison’s property which provides that no structure on the property, except boundary walls, should be less than 3.15m from the street boundaries of the property.

They say this provision was ignored when the plans were approved.

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