Handyman fights for Berea

2014-07-25 00:00

A DURBAN handyman is intent on fighting the city to enforce building regulations which the council has admitted to breaking.

Berea resident Wayne Webb is to appeal against a decision by the eThekwini Metro to allow for the construction of a multi-storey building in an area where buildings can only be two storeys high.

Recently the city approved the rezoning of 10 Poynton Place — an Edwardian home — to be developed into a seven-storey complex.

At the town planning sub-committee meeting chaired by ANC councillor Velile Lutyeku where it was approved, city officials acknowledged that the property lay within its map boundary which prohibits flats — but said it should go ahead anyway due to the “overarching” policy to densify the Berea.

But despite 47 objections from aggrieved neighbours complaining about breaches of zoning rules, traffic congestion and a loss of views, lease agreements, privacy, and property values, the town planners concluded: “Civic organisations are mushrooming, essentially to preserve the Berea of 80 years ago”.

Webb, however, said town planning schemes are in place to make order out of the chaos. “There are rules to follow and the city is not following its own rules.”

He has until the first week of August to submit his appeal to the independent KZN Planning and Development Tribunal.

“I am doing this without legal representation. I am just a handyman. I must first make sure every person who objected receives a copy of my memorandum of appeal. I do feel confident about the appeal.

“What the council has done is unprecedented. The citizens are finding themselves in the situation of fighting the city to comply with the laws they created,” said Webb.

The area was zoned “special residential” in the city’s own 2012 plan, only allowing for a two-storey buildings.

The Save Our Berea campaign, a civic group, has pledged its support for the Poynton Place community.

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