Low-cost flats for suburb?

2019-02-20 15:00
A Google Maps image showing the location of the planned flats.

A Google Maps image showing the location of the planned flats.

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A massive residential development with a shopping complex is in the pipeline to be built on the former the Roy Hesketh motor racing track site in Hayfields.

Durban-based Hesketh Country Estate (Pty) Ltd has filed an application for planning approval to rezone some 32,9 hectares of land on Murray Road with a view to building more than 1 000 housing units.

The development may also include a restaurant, bowling greens, medical facilities, swimming pool, tennis court and a museum for motor racing memorabilia.

According to an application for planning approval to rezone the area to a special residential, general residential and limited business area, the development is envisioned to feature:

• Nearly 300 “entry level apartments”;

• About 645 two- and three-bedroom residential apartments;

• About 132 larger, free standing units;

• About 23 “special residential sites”; and

• A shopping area fronted on Murray Road available for the public with restaurants, fast food outlets, hairdressers and banks.

A market study of the area attached to the lengthy application explained that the Hayfields area will see an annual growth of 522 households seeking accommodation until 2021, with the application adding there is a “significant demand for the type of development proposed”.

The market study said most of the residential units developed will be priced between R590 000 and R1,183 million. Another portion of units will be between R1,183 million and R2,36 million, and there will be other housing plans worth more than R4,7 million.

The document noted that a traffic impact assessment placed a limit on the developer building a maximum of 800 units only.

The document said the property had a “chequered history” and had previously been owned by Msunduzi and later sold. It was then neglected by an owner and sold to Hesketh Country Estate.

The development has raised concerns among a group of Hayfields residents, who are worried that the high number of flats constitutes low-cost housing in the mould of the Aloe Ridge development that was hijacked by “military veterans.”

One resident, who did not want to be named, said residents are planning to launch a petition to block the portion of the development that includes building of flats.

“We don’t mind the other kinds of housing and the businesses, but the flats will be a problem. Also, the number of tenants could put a strain on traffic in the area, and there are already areas where traffic bottlenecks during rush hour.”

One of the developers, Leon van Rooyen, declined to comment beyond saying the application was in its final stages.

He said the developers might speak publicly once approval is granted.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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