Hayfields: R200 mln Superspar development on the cards, but some object

2011-01-18 00:00

A R200 MILLION shopping development is on the cards for Hayfields.

An application has been lodged with the municipality to build a Superspar in Blackburrow Road opposite the existing Hayfields Mall. If the application is approved, eight houses in Mills Circle will be demolished to make way for the Superspar, which would begin operating by the end of the year.

The application, in terms of the KwaZulu-Natal Planning and Development Act of 2008, was submitted to the municipality for approval in December by SSI Engineers and Environmental Consultants on behalf of Theo Christodoulou. The Superspar will measure an estimated 3500 square metres and include 344 parking bays.

According to the application, the Hayfields Superspar will “provide a comparative shopping opportunity for residents of Hayfields and surrounding suburbs and reinforce the Hayfields Mall as a community shopping centre”.

The application says that on completion the Superspar will provide 300 permanent jobs.There will also be a number of temporary jobs during the construction.

A public “introductory meeting” was held on 15 June at the Methodist church in Cleland Road where the developer presented “an overview of the nature and extent” of the proposed development. There were at least 100 people present and the tone of the meeting is understood to have been overwhelmingly negative towards the development. There were no further public meetings.

Last week a meeting of local residents was held at which opponents of the development discussed how best to make their objections known.

However, not all residents are objecting. One of the residents of Mills Circle who did not want to be named but whose home will be purchased for demolition described the development as a great opportunity. “I believe that this development will be a wonderful thing for the city as it will create numerous employment opportunities for the community.”

Other residents disagree. “None of the residents in our street are in favour of this impending development,” says Rich Franz, who also lives in Mills Circle. “We are already suffering from traffic congestion on busy days and the whole character of our street would be changed ... with an extra influx of vagrants, rubbish lying around and so on. It will affect the wider Hayfields area not just Mills Circle.”

A copy of the development application is available for inspection during office hours at the corporate asset management public enquiry counter, fifth floor, Professor Nyembezi Building, 341 Church Street. Residents wanting to comment on the application have until January 24 to do so.

Andrew Schultz, a town planner with SSI, said comments will be passed on to SSI by the municipality, which will then confer with its client and, if necessary, respond. Thereafter, if the municipality deems it necessary, a further public meeting will be called.

Schultz said there are concerns over the potential increase in traffic, but added that there has been extensive consultation with road and traffic authorities who have commented favourably on a traffic simulation presentation.

Comments must be submitted to the Town Planning Administrator, Msunduzi Municipality (telephone 033 392 2180; e-mail ziphelela.shinga@msunduzi.gov.za), posted to Private Bag X 1393, Pietermaritzburg 3200 or delivered to the municipal offices.

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