Fate of building in the balance

2019-10-15 06:00
The building at 358 Victoria Road has been earmarked for demolition. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

The building at 358 Victoria Road has been earmarked for demolition. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

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Could this be the end of the road for the historic building at 358 Victoria Road in Salt River?

It seems there are conflicting opinions when it comes to the future of the building.

Authorities want the 60-year-old dilapidated building demolished while residents want it preserved.

According to community activist Jim Hislop they were first alerted to the seriousness of the matter when the fate of the building was tabled before the Heritage Western Cape (HWC) Impact Assessment Committee on Wednesday 10 July.

“A total demolition was discussed and would have had the committee’s support, which I find unbelievable,” Hislop says. He adds that this is one of the remaining old buildings in the community.

According to residents, the building, with its façade at the top, holds heritage significance for the area and should be preserved.

“How did they come to this decision when it is one of the finest remaining buildings lining Victoria Road? “The committee should be protecting the few heritage sites that are left in Cape Town, and Victoria Road, specifically,” adds Hislop.

The City of Cape Town confirms the reports but says nothing has been finalised yet.

Marian Nieuwoudt, the Mayco member for spatial planning and environment, says the City regards the rear sections of the site, as well as the Victorian structure located on Victoria Road, as local heritage resources and conservation worthy in 2007 and 2015 “respectively”.

In July, he says the HWC approved the complete demolition of this building, deeming it not to be conservation worthy.

Nieuwoudt says HWC would have had regard for both the statement of the significance of the building, as well as its current condition.

“The City of Cape Town is currently considering the demolition and building plan cases, but we can confirm that neither has been approved yet,” she says.

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