The City of Cape Town is currently processing an application to consolidate Erf 68983 (30 Kent Road) and Erf 68984 (26 Park Road) located in Wynberg East.City’s Mayco member for spatial planning and environment, Marian Nieuwoudt, says objections have been received and a report is being compiled for the municipal planning tribunal to make a decision on the application. “The applicant, in responding to objections, has indicated that there is no proposed development on the properties yet,” Nieuwoudt says.In response to residents’ concerns raised at a Wynberg East Civic Association (Weca) meeting held at the Wynberg Youth Centre on Thursday 17 (“Development concerns”, People’s Post 22 October), Nieuwoudt assures residents that any building proposal will strictly adhere to the process of building development management.“The development management scheme will equally protect the rights of the surrounding neighbours,” she says.Wynberg East residents had gathered to discuss the increasing occurrence of single-unit homes being sold and demolished in the area. A rumour that apartment blocks were set to rise in their place had raised many questions surrounding the possible impact such developments may have on the community.Nieuwoudt explains that a large percentage of properties in this area are zoned as general residential (GR4) which permits blocks of flats as of right.“Properties in this area are mostly underutilised in terms of their GR4 zoning rights. Public participation is usually called for when additional property or development rights are applied for. Buildings which are in line with their zoning rights and development rules, as set out in the Municipal Planning Bylaw’s development management scheme, are not required to be advertised,” she says.The additional strain on the area’s sewerage system, which, residents said, was very old and decaying, was another one of these concerns. Nieuwoudt says development charges and additional rates and service charges collected from new developments that need to apply for additional rights, such as rezoning, subdivisions, consolidations and so on, are used to upgrade services. “All land use and building plan applications are circulated to the various service branches who will ensure that adequate services are provided on site by the developer as well as there being sufficient bulk services available in the area to accommodate new developments.”In answer to the question whether flat developments would increase traffic further in an already congested area, Nieuwoudt says a portion of this area falls in a public transport 1 and public transport 2 area – being close to Wittebome and Wynberg stations and transport routes. “Because of the provision of public transport, the area has reduced parking requirements,” she says.Residents were also concerned future developments would negatively impact the value of their properties and that the influx of people, combined with the planned Wynberg interchange, could lead to an increase in crime.Nieuwoudt says new developments generally enhance the value of properties. “(With regards to a rise in crime), this shouldn’t be the case as new developments need to align with urban design and densification policies, encouraging ‘eyes on the street’ and increasing pedestrian numbers, thereby creating more vigilance and improved public safety.” In answer to whether the demolished homes (some of which, residents said, were more than 60 years old) shouldn’t have been considered as heritage sites, Nieuwoudt says: “All buildings that are older than 60 years require a permit from Heritage Western Cape as well as a permit in terms of the National Building Regulations.”At the Weca meeting, the association was given the mandate to meet with the developer and to report back to the community. A meeting was held on Thursday 24 October with the developer. Weca representatives who attended the meeting reported back to the association’s executive committee the following week, on Thursday 31 October.Judy Ferdenando, chair of Weca, says a feedback meeting will be arranged with the community shortly.“We are busy consulting with relevant parties,” she says. “As soon as we have secured the meeting hall, we will communicate the date for the feedback meeting through social media groups.” V To get involved, visit Weca’s Facebook page or call Judy Ferdenando on 082 493 6076.