Pennington: adviser challenges locals on vegetation damage

2011-03-22 00:00

THE team developing Umdoni Point — the 32-property sectional title seafront complex in southern Pennington — has answered complaints by local critics that the project is being unnecessarily harsh on the local vegetation.

The Witness interviewed the environmental consultant to the project, Pippa la Cock, who responed frankly to the complaints.

“The impact of any project on the environment is inevitably subjective and one could argue that to disturb nature at all is environmentally unfriendly and that it would be better for nature if mankind was not here at all,” said La Cock.

“In that context, I believe that we have taken a balanced course, which an ultra-conservative might choose to find too permissive, but that we have not compromised on critical issues.”

La Cock conceded that it has been difficult to carry out the extensive landscaping for the complex, squeezed in between Pennington town, Botha House and the sea, without causing consternation among some of the neighbours.

“With little rain, dust has been a problem, as has noise, but we’re nearly finished with that,” she said.

La Cock said the roads that have been carved through the bush have mostly been kept to three metres wide or to one-way carriageways where possible, with an overall width of seven metres, including verges, and accommodating all services such as power, water and sewerage.

“We have complied with all requirements to date from municipal, provincial and national agencies, and I’m happy to say that even the animals and birds that were there before we started are still happily there,” she added.

La Cock said that, guided by renowned landscaper Geoff ­Nicholls, the construction team has elected to use local materials in rehabilitating the disturbed areas, which, she says, “greatly reduces the carbon footprint in that we aren’t hauling tons of material into the area.

“It also facilitates blending in and avoiding the need to ‘green-wash’.”

Pointing out that buildings attract trees whereas they repel grasslands, La Cock added that the forested areas will recover on their own, but that some of the smaller trees have been removed to encourage other vegetation which requires sunshine.

The area which property owners will be allowed to garden is specified, which should help retain a good balance.

“We are very conscious that any development is more than just a site,” La Cock said.

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.