No to housing plan

2018-05-08 06:00

The City of Cape Town is determined to make sure the developer of a proposed development at 10 Wellington Road complies with the applicable land use rights.

According to Mayco member (South) Eddie Andrews, the City’s Development Management (DM) Department has received an application for a proposed five-storey block of flats. He says it is currently being assessed in terms of land use rights by the City’s Land Use Management Section for its compliance with the Development Management Scheme (DMS).

The City was responding to residents’ concerns following findings that the development would go above what is generally expected within their community.

Residents say the proposal states that the building would be a five-storey block of flats.

This is double the height of buildings in the area and approving it would negatively affect the look of the area and bring about more problems including traffic jams, they say.

A neighbour who wishes to remain anonymous says a large block of flats would substantially alter the heritage nature of the surrounding area.

“This historical area of Wynberg mostly has older single and double-storey houses with relatively low building coverage of the erven. The block of flats would not be in character with the area and will probably take away a large part of the charm and feel of historical Wynberg. The other two blocks of flats further south on Wellington Road have proven that the building will not be in sympathy with the surrounding area.

“The developer has chosen to build in a modern industrial style and use every possible square metre of the erf.”

Kristina Davidson, chairperson of the Wynberg Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association, says the direct neighbours of the building in Wellington Road have objected to the plan.

They want the developer to consider developing in sympathy with the unique Wynberg Heritage Conservation Area.

Davidson says: “I encourage Heritage Western Cape to ensure that the heritage of Wynberg is preserved and that developers are not allowed to destroy the unique nature of the area.”

She says authorities should guide the City Council on the suitable style of development.

“Double-storey townhouses with more of a historical appearance would be far more suitable to preserving the heritage feel of Wynberg,” says Davidson.

In response, the City says Heritage Western Cape and the City’s Heritage Department would need to consider impact on heritage.

The City confirms the area has historically been zoned for general residential use.

Andrews, however, says there are already many multi-storey flats in the area. Further evaluation of the building plan will continue.

“The City’s DM Department encourages the development of well-located and appropriately zoned properties, as long as they comply with the DMS and other applicable legislation,” says Andrews.

He says the City is aware that construction, including demolitions, is often accompanied by inconvenience to the community.

“During these periods, residents are welcome to raise their concerns directly with the developer, if need be, or to contact the local planning office to ensure that the correct approvals are in place. Furthermore, the impact on heritage and traffic is among the factors that are taken into account when considering development applications.”

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