Extensions benefit Masiphumelele

2018-06-26 06:01

Traffic congestion is being addressed through the Houmoed Avenue extension.

According to Brett Herron, Mayco member for transport and urban development in the City of Cape Town, the road will serve to alleviate traffic congestion between Kommetjie and Noordhoek.

“The extension will also improve access for emergency services to and from the Masiphumelele neighbourhood, as well as prevent flooding and improve stormwater drainage in the informal settlement section of Masiphumelele,” Herron says.

“In addition to this, the extension will allow for poor quality water, currently running from the informal settlement directly into the wetlands, to be diverted back into the sewage network and thus protect the sensitive wetlands from further degradation.

“The road will also provide a hard edge, preventing further encroachment and risk of flooding for the informal settlement, allow residents from Masiphumelele to access shops and schools more easily,” he explains.

As part of this proposal, the City hired expert wetland scientists to evaluate potential impacts and advise the City’s engineers on reducing these impacts through a combination of on and off-site mitigation measures.

“Some of the road footprint impact is unavoidable, but to offset this we have proposed to undertake wetland rehabilitation actions in other nearby wetlands so that we can improve wetland conditions nearby – improving the habitat for endemic species – to offset the small impact of the road.

“I want to reiterate that the proposed road will provide a hard edge preventing further encroachment and risk of flooding for the informal settlement.

“The proposed road does not cross over through the wetland, but runs along its edge. This was one of the concerns of the Noordhoek environmental action group, GreenGauge,” Herron says.

“Kommetjie counts among one of the three most congested areas in Cape Town and we are turning sections of Ou Kaapse Weg and Kommetjie Road into dual carriageways to alleviate pressure on these roads, and to assist with traffic flow. Having another parallel road route through the area, such as the proposed extended Houmoed Avenue, would alleviate traffic congestion and provide residents with an alternative route to/from the areas within and adjacent to Kommetjie and Noordhoek.

“The City is not seeking to densify the entire metropolitan area. While there was a uniform approach to city-wide densification advocated by the previous Cape Town Spatial Development Framework, we have been working to reverse this and last month Council adopted a revised Municipal Spatial Development Framework.”

The key applicable spatial planning policies for the Far South, inclusive of Kommetjie and Noordhoek, are the Municipal Spatial Development Framework (MSDF) (2018) and the Southern District Plan (2012). Given the recent approval of the new metropolitan-wide spatial development framework, which has an inward growth vision, a new district plan will have to be developed for each of the planning districts.

The City expects this work to commence in September this year when they engage with the subcouncils.

The higher level plans are supplemented by city-wide planning policy, including:

. Transit -Oriented Development Strategic Framework (2016)

. Densification Policy (2012)

. Urban Design Policy (2013)

. Scenic Drives Policy (2003)

. Boundary Walls and Fences Policy (2009)

. Guest Accommodation Policy (2010)

. Gated Development Policy (2007)

“From the above it should be clear that while the entire city area is a dynamic changing and increasingly urban environment to which spatial planning guidance needs to respond proactively to support this, planning guidance should not be based on a one-size-fits-all approach.

“For this area in particular, the planning guidance recognises that some change is to be expected and supported in terms of meeting changing needs and requirements in this dynamic urban environment – e.g. more retirement facilities, supporting tourism, etc. However, the primary aim is that this is not a targeted growth area of the city, and policy rather aims to maintain, consolidate and enhance a sense of place and character. This translates to limiting densification and commercial encroachment, and focusing on context, fit, design and interface,” Herron says. He says the Southern District Plan is due to go through a review process shortly.

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