‘Develop in harmony with heritage’

2017-12-19 06:01

A group of Vredehoek residents are working to preserve the heritage and historical buildings of their neighbourhood.

The Greater Vredehoek Heritage Action Group is a voluntary initiative by local residents who are committed to conserving the special heritage qualities of their neighbourhood. The action group also looks to promote development that is in harmony with these qualities, chairperson Charl de Villiers explained at a recent ward 77 committee meeting.

Established in July, the group was formed in response to community concerns about the surge of demolitions and the construction of multi-storey blocks of flats and their impact on the character and heritage value of neighbourhood. It has already garnered 300 members on its Facebook group, and has dealt with over 30 demolition and building applications, he said.

The group is also registered as a heritage conservation body with Heritage Western Cape, and as an interested and affected party with the City of Cape Town, and includes Devil’s Peak, Upper Gardens and Vredehoek.

“We are simply just concerned residents,” De Villiers said.

The organisation aims to build residents’ capacity to engage with developers and development applications in an effort to preserve some of the neighbourhood’s heritage features, such as art deco design elements, while under “enormous development pressure”, he said.

“We’re not against development. We’re just concerned about how it’s happening,” he said.

“We need a vision that places Greater Vredehoek on a trajectory of sustainable, equitable and inclusive development.”

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