Countdown for Hilton development verdict

2013-02-04 00:00

AFTER two days of hearings last week, the countdown begins on the judgement of the Planning Development Act (PDA) Appeals Tribunal regarding objections to the uMngeni Municipality’s approval of the Hilton-Mondi development by Lauresco Developments.

The initial proposal was for the development of five separate sites spread over 80 hectares, four of them located around the Hilton and Cedara N3 interchanges. Developments proposed included warehousing, light industrial estates, a business park, a shopping centre and residential housing.

The proposal was conditionally approved by the uMngeni Municipality last May.

The light industrial component was rejected in the record of decision from the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs, while a later decision permitting this component to be developed as a business park was rejected by the municipality, which also refused the surety of a bank guarantee in respect of the site development.

Among those appealing the municipality’s approval on Thursday and Friday last week were the Hilton Ratepayers Association, Wedgewood Estate, Winterskloof Conservancy, the Mkondeni-Mpushini Trust, the Garlington Development Trust and the Garlington Homeowners Association.

“Hilton has a unique ambience,” said Guy Smith, representing the Garlington Development Trust. “It is a rural transitional zone with a very special atmosphere.” He said developers should add to that and respect what is there, but that the proposed development ignored “what makes Hilton what it is”.

Smith was particularly opposed to the shopping centre sited opposite Grace College. “There is no need for a regional shopping centre on the scale of the Liberty Midlands Mall.”

“I would like to see Hilton developed, but I would like to see it developed appropriately.”

Jan van der Vegte, town planner: Shared Services in uMngeni Municipality, denied accusations that the public participation process had been ignored, stating that it had directly fed into the municipality’s decision making. Van der Vegte said the development would assist in improving municipal infrastructure and the construction of new sewage works as part of the development would benefit the whole area.

On Friday, following his submission on Thursday, lawyer Jeremy Ridl, representing several of the appellants, presented a revised document to the appeals tribunal listing the main objections to the proposed development.

At the close of proceedings, T.G. Nkosi, presiding officer of the PDA appeals tribunal, said members of the tribunal would review this document before making their decision. A decision is expected on Monday, February 11.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.