Buildings are an eyesore

2015-05-05 06:00
Residents have raised concerns about this property in Wellington Road, Wynberg. 


Residents have raised concerns about this property in Wellington Road, Wynberg. PHOTO: MONIQUE DUVAL

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The spotlight has fallen on two Wynberg properties as neighbours have accused the City of Cape Town of allowing the properties to become derelict.

The first is a free standing house in Wellington Road and the second is a pair of semi-detached cottages in Tenby Road. Both of these properties belong to the municipality.

People’s Post joined members of the Wynberg Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association (WRRA) on a walk-about of the properties recently.

They pointed out a wall at the Wellington Road property which is cracked and appears unstable.

According to City mayoral committee member for finance, Ian Neilson, they have been informed about this wall and the process to appoint a contractor has commenced.

“The first step is the preparation of the specifications for the Request for Quotation (RFQ) from service providers,” he says.

WRRA chairperson Kristina Davidson says neighbours have raised concerns about the condition of the buildings saying it is an eyesore and is devaluing neighbouring properties.

In a statement Davidson says the properties have been allowed to deteriorate for the past couple of years. This she said is obvious when comparing Google images from 2013.

She further says the Wellington Road property appeared on the agenda of the Protea subcouncil meeting during last year. The report tabled at the meeting proposed it be demolished to make way for the new MyCiTi bus route.

“The item was not discussed because no permit had been received from Heritage Western Cape. The argument that the properties are needed for the Brodie Road couplet is invalid because the likelihood of that happening is almost none,” she says.

Asked whether the properties were needed for the couplet, City mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron says they were acquired for the Wynberg By-Pass Scheme.

“The decision to demolish the property, or not, relies on a number of factors inclusive of the decision whether the Wynberg By-Pass Scheme is to be implemented. Furthermore, no full heritage impact assessment (HIA) has been undertaken as yet about the impact of Phase 2 of MyCiTi as it was understood that heritage approval could be obtained through section 34 of the National Heritage Resources Act.”

He further explains should a full HIA be needed, this requirement will be adhered to.

Residents have also thrown the book at the municipality and questioned whether or not these buildings should be classified as problem buildings under the Problem Buildings Bylaw.

This stems from the condition of the buildings and reports from nearby residents that vagrants sleep on the porch at the Tenby Road cottages.

“The Council-owned properties in Wellington and Tenby Roads appear to have the characteristics of problem buildings, but what recourse is there when the City owns the properties,” Davidson asks.

According to executive director for safety and security, Richard Bosman, the problem building unit has not received any complaints about these buildings. “The Problem Building Bylaw is applicable to all buildings, including privately-owned properties and those belonging to government.” he says.

Neilson confirms the City pays R20 000 each month for security guards for these properties and says vagrants are not allowed to sleep on the porch. “The City is not aware of such allegations and it will be investigated immediately,” he adds.


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