‘Make a plan’ for Common

2018-06-05 06:01

Green Point residents are calling for a plan to be implemented to manage the Green Point Common as a provincial heritage site.

The common was declared a heritage site by Heritage Western Cape in March, following an application by the Green Point Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (GPRRA) as well as the City of Cape Town.

In 2015 the City undertook to nominate portions of the common as a provincial heritage site, which was taken up by the GPRRA in 2016 (“How big is ‘heritage’?”, People’s Post, 8 August 2017) . A supplementary report was then developed in collaboration with heritage officials in the City that clearly expressed the historic and heritage values of this unique urban cultural landscape.

The GPRRA’s preferred boundary for the heritage area was based on the historical boundary of the area granted to the people of Cape Town in 1923, whereas the City motivated for an area that includes the park and selected sports facilities, but not the stadia or tennis area.

The final heritage status was given to the area proposed by the GPRRA.

Antonia Malan, speaking on behalf of the GPRRA, says the process of nomination has brought to people’s attention the significance of the common as a historic place of heritage value, and the understanding that it was open space granted for the benefit of the citizens of Cape Town.

But to ensure it is managed correctly as a heritage site, a conservation management plan (CMP) needs to be drawn up, the organisation believes. “The purpose of the CMP is to identify all heritage-related issues that need to be addressed, to describe the relevant policies, principles and legal requirements, and to clarify how these should be applied and managed. Examples include landscape quality, maintenance, new developments and public access. The draft CMP includes public input,” Malan explains.

“Declaration as a provincial heritage site has two purposes: To recognise the significance of a site and to give it formal status and to protect that significance. Heritage Western Cape, as the heritage authority, must approve a CMP that regulates any potential adverse impacts on that significance (with the consent of the legal owner, the City),” Malan explains.

The City is in the best position to develop this plan, Malan continues.

“The City has the resources to develop the management plan (there is a preliminary draft) but has not yet made a decision to commission the work. If it becomes necessary, the GPRRA has offered to raise funds and appoint a mutually acceptable person to compile the plan.”

However, Stuart Diamond, Mayco member for assets and facilities management, says the boundaries remain a bone of contention.

“The declaration of the Provincial Heritage Site is a formalisation of the heritage status of the Green Point Common as proposed by Heritage Western Cape. This declaration area does not correspond with the proposal that Council, as the elected representative of all ratepayers, approved. Although not a legal requirement, the Heritage Resources Act makes provision for provincial heritage sites to be managed by means of a CMP. No approved CMP for the area currently exists. The City is thus in the process of engaging with the municipal entity responsible for the Cape Town Stadium precinct management, our Assets and Facilities Management officials and City Heritage staff to consider future steps, as there are multiple parties and financial implications for our ratepayers to be considered in evaluating the impacts of the decision imposed upon us by Heritage Western Cape.”V Share your thoughts via email to post@­peoplespost.co.za.

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