Cape Town's King David Mowbray golf club eyed for potential housing development

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King David Mowbray Golf Club.
King David Mowbray Golf Club.
Nettalie Viljoen
  • A proposal was made in the draft integrated spatial development framework for the City of Cape Town's Table Bay Planning District.
  • The mayoral committee member for the environment and spatial planning, Marian Nieuwoudt, said the draft plan would focus on the nature and location of development locally to promote economic growth and job creation.
  • Housing activists have been calling for golf clubs to be developed into affordable housing.

The City of Cape Town has eyed the King David Mowbray Golf Club as a potential site for development.

The proposal is contained in the draft integrated spatial development framework (SDF) for the City's Table Bay Planning District.

The draft SDF is a policy document that identifies a long-term vision for development in a particular area.

The mayoral committee member for the environment and spatial planning, Marian Nieuwoudt, said the draft plan would focus on the nature and location of development locally to promote economic growth and job creation.

Nieuwoudt said:

As part of the City's human settlements strategy, all suitable City owned land continues to be assessed - from golf courses to mixed-use areas - to determine whether some of these properties could be developed for affordable housing opportunities, among others.

"The draft district SDF entails the City's response to managing urban growth on a district level and in a manner that is sustainable, resilient, and equitable."

READ | Rondebosch Golf Club lease renewal under fire from housing activists

Housing activists have been calling for golf clubs to be developed into affordable housing.

However, before any development occurs, there must be a feasibility study and land-use planning processes.

According to the Table Bay District's draft SDF Mowbray, it intended to use it as either future housing or mixed-use developments.

It stated the Wingfield site near Kensington could also unlock housing opportunities, saying it planned to engage with the Department of Public Works to prioritise human settlement at the site.

Framework

"The Wingfield site remains a key opportunity for transforming the apartheid City and will need an area framework to ensure alignment with City development objectives," the report said.

The draft SDF for the Table Bay Planning District counts among eight draft SDFs (for all eight of the City's planning districts) that are currently available for public comment.

The public participation process commenced on 6 April, and the closing date for comments is Sunday, 6 June.

ALSO READ | Cape Town reviewing sports ground use amid reports of R1 000 lease for prime golf course

Nieuwoudt said the SDF would guide the City's decisions on how and where the private and public sector could and should pursue developments - how land should be used.

"The draft district SDFs entails the City's response to managing urban growth on a district level and in a manner that is sustainable, resilient, and equitable. It determines how the City should intervene on a local planning level to mitigate against constraints, and to enhance opportunities that will improve residents' quality of living."

Housing law advocacy group Ndifuna Ukwazi researcher Robyn Park-Ross said it welcomed the acknowledgement of what activists have been calling for since 2018.

"This is a major shift from the City's previous unsustainable and unjust approach to leasing these prime pieces of public land to private clubs at nominal rentals to the exclusive benefit of a few wealthy members.

"The Table Bay District Plan has outlined Mowbray Golf Course as one of its catalytic land development areas, which 'present significant opportunities to advance spatial transformation on state-owned land'. We call on the City to maximise the redistributive potential of this land."

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