Flats in line with City’s legislation

2019-11-26 06:01
The City has confirmed that an application to consolidate Erf 68983 (30 Kent Road) and Erf 68984 (26 Park Road) has been withdrawn.PHOTO: Theresa Smith

The City has confirmed that an application to consolidate Erf 68983 (30 Kent Road) and Erf 68984 (26 Park Road) has been withdrawn.PHOTO: Theresa Smith

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Although the City of Cape Town and the developer behind several blocks of flats in Wynberg East have addressed concerns raised by the community, residents remain apprehensive.

Judy Ferdenando, chair of the Wynberg East Civic Association (WECA), said – notwithstanding assurances by Mayco member for spatial planning and environment Marian Nieuwoudt that any building proposal would strictly adhere to the process of building development management – residents wanted to know how many more single-unit properties would be replaced by apartment blocks in future.

At a community meeting held at the Wynberg Youth Centre on Tuesday 19 November, Ferdenando shared feedback from the City and property developer Zahir Vallie. Weca had met with Vallie at his home on Thursday 24 October.

In response to questions sent by People’s Post, Nieuwoudt said the development management scheme equally protects the rights of surrounding neighbours.

However, she said that a large percentage of properties in this area are zoned as general residential (GR4) which permits blocks of flats as of right.

Buildings which are in line with their zoning rights and development rules, as set out in the Municipal Planning By-law’s development management scheme, are not required to be advertised, she explained.

Accordingly, Vallie was not legally obliged to get the permission of neighbours because he had acted within the requirements for the land use on each erven (GR4).

At the meeting between Vallie and Weca, the attorney for the development company Wayne Hufkie also indicated that the plans submitted asked for less property coverage than allowed (4 units as opposed to 9 units).

Other questions raised by Weca and answered by Vallie focused on infrastructure, traffic, property valuation and heritage concerns.

  • Hufkie emphasised that the City’s planning division checked infrastructure viability and required developers to pay a development fee.
  • As Wynberg is an interchange node, the City encourages people to use public transport. As part of the approval process, the City does a traffic assessment. The City also encourages higher densification because of the lack of housing.
  • Many of the properties demolished were in poor condition. Hufkie felt the new developments would add value to the neighbourhood.
  • Properties are only demolished once a demolition permit is issued by Heritage Western Cape.

Residents mandated the civic association to find proof that the houses demolished in Wynberg East did have demolition permits approved by Heritage Western Cape; approach the City council to have GR4 areas rezoned to GR2 (single-storey); and to engage with Heritage Western Cape and determine why it sanctioned the demolitions.

Residents also voiced their dismay at the City’s system of community engagement.

“Legally, the City isn’t obliged to engage with the community on these developments but the City needs to understand that there should be more interaction with the community when they feel their suburbs are being challenged,” said Ferdenando.

Concern over the increasing occurrence of single-unit homes being sold and demolished in the area was first raised at a community meeting held on Thursday 17 October.

At the time demolitions were underway in York Road, Park Road, Byrnes Avenue and Castletown Road, to name a few. The City has since confirmed that an application to consolidate Erf 68983 (30 Kent Road) and Erf 68984 (26 Park Road) has been withdrawn.

  • To get involved, visit Weca’s Facebook page or call Judy Ferdenando on 082 493 6076.

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