Development appeal

2018-11-13 06:00

According to Councillor Brian Watkyns, the community of Pinelands remains firm in opposing the Conradie development plan, formally known as a Better Living Model, despite plans being approved.

He says they are awaiting a court date for the appeal application.

Watkyns says since the beginning of the proposal, different stakeholders in the community have raised concerns and opposed the plans. According to him, the number of the proposed residential units is too high and plans are not in line with the infrastructure of the community. Other concerns include lack of planning and traffic-related issues­.

Watkyns also says although there is a plan for public transport, it is also a concern because they do not know if it will be easy to regulate. Not long ago, Pinelands was under the strain of illegal taxi operations and bad driving behaviour.

This comes shortly after the Western Cape premier, Helen Zille, issued a statement announcing her office’s support of the project and calling for public participation. According to the statement, the public will have a 21-day public participation period. Interested parties are encouraged to submit any representations on the proposed disposal of the site. According to the statement, after the participation period, the provincial cabinet will then decide on whether or not to confirm the disposal based on the comments. The development is expected to provide 3602 residential units of which 1764 (49%) will be grant-funded units and the remainder will be for the open market.

This will cross-subsidise the affordable units and support the viability of the overall development.

It would also comprise two new schools, each accommodating at least 800 learners, as well as commercial space, and there will be accessibility to public transport via bus and rail services. It is expected to provide just over 4300 jobs during the operational phase and just over 9300 jobs during construction.

“Finally, the development will also boast parks and recreational spaces which residents and surrounding communities will be able to enjoy. We believe the project could serve as a blueprint for how we can best unlock the economic potential of state-owned property and provide more affordable housing close to employment and economic opportunity in the future,” says Zille in the statement.

After a long delay, the project was due to start in April this year.

However, according to Siphesihle Dube, spokesperson for the minister of transport and public works, Donald Grant, there was a need to run a second developer procurement process which resulted in more delays.

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