Youth centre’s plan off

2016-02-23 06:00
The Vision Youth and Child Centre in Mountview were denied an application requesting for alterations to be done at the premises on corners of Jackson and Armstrong Crescent. PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

The Vision Youth and Child Centre in Mountview were denied an application requesting for alterations to be done at the premises on corners of Jackson and Armstrong Crescent. PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

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An application for alterations and extensions to a Mountview youth centre has been denied.

At the latest subcouncil meeting last Thursday, councillor Magedien Davids supported a recommendation on the application to refuse it.

The applicant states the Vision Child and Youth Centre on the corner of Jackson and Armstrong crescents has been operating for more than 23 years and “provides for destitute, abused, neglected and abandoned children, as well as orphans”.

“It is a community-based non-profit organisation. There are 51 children ranging from two to 21 years old. The children are from troubled families and the centre provides specialised care and intervention. Children have been placed with the centre by the courts or private placements.”

Davids said at the meeting he supported the recommendation to refuse the alterations on grounds that “parking is already a problem in that road and due to the significant amount of children housed at the centre, there is a lot of noise or disturbance for the neighbours”.

“Neighbours of these premises are predominantly pensioners. Also, there is a huge obstruction in the road already due to insufficient parking on site,” he said.

Davids said three official objections and 10 other anonymous objections had been received.

Davids was seconded by two more councillors, but ward councillors Wasfie Hassiem and Ganief Hendricks disagreed with the recommendation to deny the development.

Hassiem said the concerns of the children at the centre were not being taken into consideration. “I do not think my fellow councillors are thinking of the consequences. Where will these children go and who will look after them if they cannot be accommodated at the centre?”

He suggested that the councillors and authorities should discuss alternatives with the applicant instead of taking a “jackhammer approach to the situation”.

“We should try and assist them instead of knocking them down. We should help them become compliant,” he added.

Hendricks also condemned the “draconian refusal”.

“This centre has been in existence for 23 years. We should not be unsympathetic towards their plight,” Hendricks said.

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