Illegal building to be demolished

2015-09-23 06:00

THE developer of 23 Wanda Cele Road, Deepak Bhardwaj has been sentenced to 30 days in jail, suspended for two years on condition that he demolishes the building that was set up illegally. Bhardwaj set up a warehouse instead of a house, as approved in his building plans, and then started trading as a supermarket in August.

eThekwini Municipality initially instituted legal action against Bhardwaj in February based on the fact that he had grossly deviated from an approved plan to build a two- bedroomed house and build a warehouse. The city secured an interdict stopping him from building any structures that deviate from the plan. Despite the interdict, Bhardwaj completed the illegal structure.

High Court Acting Judge Ian Topping subsequently ruled that Bhardwaj was in contempt of court and gave him 30 days to demolish the illegal structure.

Councillor André Beetge welcomed the ruling saying it serves to restore one’s faith in the application of the law.

“While it sends a clear message that one cannot ignore the rule of law and that the ‘little man’ also has rights, it further stands as a tribute to the town planning and building inspectorate departments who continued in their application of the law, despite several threats being leveled against officials,” he said.

Beetge added that while council approved the rezoning application from residential to commercial, the developer continually displayed a hostile approach with apparent total disregard for concerns expressed by neighbours or authorities regarding infringement on municipal land, deviation from plan or irregular trading from the premises.

“One can but echo the judge’s caution to those who believe that they can continue with irregular building-construction while believing that it would be accepted being ‘as built’ followed by a mere process of regularisation – it is just not worth it.” Beetge said

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