End of ‘eyesore’

2018-10-30 06:01
The site will be used for a residential development. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

The site will be used for a residential development. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

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Four months later, the eyesore which was the old FNB building has gone.

People’s Post reported about the concerns that surrounded this building in May (“Building now ‘eyesore’,” 22 May).

Authorities were struggling to bring the new owner to the table to discuss plans to secure the building, as some irregularities were reportedly taking place around and inside it.

The front part, including the entrance, had been broken into and the parking area was filthy and littered with broken tree branches, and there was garbage lying all around.

The building, situated on Main Road, has now been demolished and work is still underway on site.

According to reports the site will now be used for the development of residential units.

A proposal was reportedly submitted to the City of Cape Town and public engagements have taken place. The Rosebank and Mowbray Civic Association (RMCA), through the Rosebank and Mowbray Aesthetics and Planning Committee (RAMPAC), was afforded the opportunity to comment on the design in October last year.

Reports have it that there are mixed feelings about the idea of bringing a huge residential development to the area, as the sewerage system is old and might not cope with the extra pressure.

“The design, with adjustments, was subsequently approved. There have however been mixed reactions in community groups – some lauding the upgrade to the Main Road streetscape, whilst others are worried the 1920s aging ceramic sewerage pipes may not cope with the additional urban pressure,” explains Belisa Rodrigues, ward 57 representative and RMCA member­.

Mayco member for transport and urban development, Brett Herron, has confirmed that the permit application for demolition followed due process.

“The National Heritage Resources Act (NHRA) protects buildings older than 60 years, and approvals for modifications or demolitions must be granted by Provincial Heritage Western Cape, the independent regulator of the NHRA. Heritage Western Cape issued a permit in August 2017 and thus the demolition plan was approved, in terms of Regulation E1 of the National Building Regulations, on 3 November 2017.”

Herron also confirms that an application to redevelop the property has been submitted and is currently being processed­. 

The owner of the site confirmed the demolition and requested that questions be sent to him, but two weeks later he has still not responded to the emails sent to him after the call.

According to a motivational letter for the development: “The site is zoned as general business 1, which allows for business premises and flats as a primary use and that the land use rights have been strictly complied with.

“Following a discussion with the City of Cape Town’s Transport Impact Assessment Department, it is understood that a parking departure would be considered favourably as the site is within 300m of Mowbray train station. The proposal therefore provides one parking per dwelling in accordance with the zoning scheme PT1 requirements therefore 26 bays in total, however a visitor’s bay and restaurant bay parking departure would be applied for.

“Vehicular access and egress into the site is located in the same location as that of the existing access and egress.”

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