Residents stand together

2019-05-28 06:01

Albion Road residents in Rondebosch are up in arms and say the do not want a proposed five-storey building development for their area.

In an application made to the City of Cape Town, registered land owners, Cilet Pty Ltd and The Residential Portfolio Trust, have duly authorised Consulting and Regional Planners, Olden and Associates, to submit and proceed with this application. These properties are presently used for residential purposes and are zoned General Residential two.

The proposal is for the consolidation of five ervens together with a rezoning to General Residential four, in order to erect an apartment block and this is not sitting well with the residents.

One of the residents John Williamson says after he saw an advert on the paper he knew he had to do something.

He immediately talked to about five other people who were also concerned. “We had to send a circular to the area to tell them what was happening and there was a huge response. I was surprised by the response I got because Capetonians don’t react, they are not proactive but the 140 responses we got showed there was a big problem,” he says.

Williamson says they had to form a committee with a sub community to carry out various tasks as they had to facilitate residents putting their objections. “We can’t write the objections so each resident had to write their own. We are taking on people that have years of experience in doing this and they are way ahead of us so we also had to up our game,” he says.

According to the application, this development promotes the principles upheld by the densification policy by increasing density in an area that is close to amenities and public transport. “This development, while in keeping with the design and feel of the surrounding erven, is also contemporary and promotes an urban form through the strong frontage onto Albion Road. This site is close to Main Road development corridor, which accommodates a range of amenities. There is also a significant amount of open space in the area, most notably, the Rondebosch Common,” reads the application.

The applications further adds: “The densification of this proposed level at 177 du/ha is desirable considering the spatial location of the site, land use character, access to public transport, proximity to places of employment, services and social facilities; good schools, proximity to public open space, and infrastructure availability.”

“This building is humongous. Our privacy will be gone. These people will see in to our gardens, kitchens and bedrooms. This is wrong,” says Williamson.

Another resident Brownyn Davidson says there is an uproar in the community. “We have been fighting to keep this out of our area. A five-storey building does not keep up with the look and feel of the area. It will congest us even further. We bought here for the yards and flow space and this building will take all that away from us,” she says.

Davidson adds they are not taking this lying down. “We will have lawyers involved; we have town planners and will bring heritage people in this,” she says.

Pnina Wood, a resident and a registered architect, says the monstrosity of the building is unbelievable and the current infrastructure will not survive more people. “Water pipes burst here all the time; the infrastructure is under pressure. Designers and developers must look at a way that will add to the lives of the people in that area but with this development they are taking away from the existing urban fabric, taking away from us,” says Wood adding they are gainst consolidation and the rezoning from a GR two to and GR four.

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