Plans for Signal Hill not for years yet

2015-06-17 09:39
Signal Hill housing.

Signal Hill housing. (File)

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TRAFFIC problems and decaying sewerage infrastructure inat Signal Hill need to be addressed before the government can implement its plans to build 3 000 new homes there.

The ratepayers association in the area has raised concerns that for the last 20 years, the infrastructure for water, electricity, roads and sewerage lines have not been upgraded sufficiently to support the present population.

The concern is that the infrastructure will collapse under the weight of 3 000 new homes.

The Witness reported recently that the Department of Human Settlements — with the Msunduzi Municipality the implementing agent — is planning to build 3 000 homes there.

These will cater for the unemployed and middle income groups.

Chairperson of the ratepayers association Trish Collocott said they understood understand the need for housing, but there was an urgent need to upgrade the infrastructure.

“There are only two roads coming in and out of the area and there is a traffic problem already that needs to be addressed; Devonshire and Neville Roads will not be enough [to cope with the increased traffic],” said Collocott.

She said that over the years there have been a number of residential developments in the area that have dramatically increased the number of people relying on the infrastructure there.

She said the environmental study done for the proposed project was completed years ago and there have been many new developments to the area and therefore that study needs to be revisiteddone.

Collocott said they did not object to having a housing project for all income groups built there.

“As long as the development is done properly and is controlled, there is no problem with it.”

Ward councillor Glenn McArthur said he had his doubts about whether the project will be completed in the near future.

In a statement, he said the project was first proposed about 20 years ago.

“It was originally proposed that the Peace Valley III informal ­settlement would be relocated to the Napierville side of the hill,” said McArthur.

He said: “A consultation process was held about eight years ago and an EIA was completed, but an extension has had to be applied for as the original date expired.

“Although we have not had an official response, we are aware of the fact that council’s sewerage systems won’t be able to accommodate a further township of this magnitude and hence the project was put on hold.”

He said, “The present roads infrastructure will not cope with the extra traffic flow and schooling will also be a problem as will recreational facilities.

“With the EIA being on temporary hold there is still seemingly a lot of work to be done on this project and I would be most surprised to see things happening in the near future,” said McArthur.

Acting Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said that all the required engineering services, including bulk services for water, electricity, sanitation, roads and storm water, and other ­associated socio-economic amenities have been investigated to ensure that all the required services are provided to the development.

She said the project has been delayed because the municipality only had the budget to undertake the environmental impact assessment.

“The EIA has been renewed for a further two years pending the commencement of the construction stage.” Madonda said.

The project is expected to start operating in three years

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