No time frame needed for unfinished buildings

2014-04-17 00:00

THE two Currie Road developments, which have been under construction for several years, can remain under construction for as long as the owner likes, according to the metro.

Both 109 and 123 Currie Road have been under construction for six and nearly three years respectively, angering neighbours who feel the unfinished developments are having a negative effect on their own property prices, while complaining about dust, damage to their property, a higher incidence of petty crime and a lack of clear answers from either the developer or city council.

And, according to the council, there is no prescribed period for a development to be constructed.

City spokesperson Thabo Mofokeng said, “Construction work is permitted as the owner is in possession of an approved building plan.”

Earlier this week, The Witness revealed that the two Currie Road developments had not complied with the NHBRC. The developer of 123 Currie Road, Lyngarth Investments, has since complied, while the NHBRC is now investigating the owner of 109 Currie Road, Pirrup Investments, for its non-compliance.

Mofokeng also said the city is not responsible for making sure a developer complies with the National Homebuilders Regulatory Authority (NHBRA). All builders are required to be registered with the national body.

Mofokeng said building plans for both developments have been approved but he said in order for the public to check this for themselves they will need to submit a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application.

“The municipality possesses sensitive information which may, through release, be construed as prejudicial to some or other party. Importantly, neighbours or community members are urged to consult with their local authority, call in at our regional centres and access information off our website (GIS), which will assist them in confirming the applicable zoning for site and the restrictions,” said Mofokeng.

He said the city will not defend itself against statements that their town planning department is corrupt — an accusation levelled by various Berea residents who have spoken to The Witness. Mofokeng said defending such a statement could be “erroneously perceived”.

“It is important to note that we deal with each case on its own merit and conduct thorough investigations before laying claims to corrupt practices. The municipality urges the community to bring any and all suspicions to our attention and that of the City Integrity and Investigations Unit (Ombudsperson), and we assure you of our thorough steps to investigate. Kindly utilise all city resources at your disposal to conduct your own desktop investigation and visit our regional centres to verify your suspicions before submission,” said Mofokeng.

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