Ty­coon Judy Dlamini en­ters the stormy en­clave of Bantry Bay’s elite

Bantry Bay get­ting fed up as higher-den­sity build­ings choke lanes and spoil pricy views

Sunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - By PHILANI NOMBEMBE

One of South Africa’s black fe­male business ty­coons has joined Cape Town’s elite home­own­ers in pay­ing top dol­lar for an un­in­ter­rupted view of the At­lantic.

But Judy Dlamini could be swim­ming to­wards the eye of a storm in Bantry Bay, as well-heeled home­own­ers are fed up with new de­vel­op­ments in the area.

They have ac­cused one busi­ness­man of threat­en­ing the aes­thet­ics of the su­per­wealthy sub­urb, rob­bing peo­ple of their views and even sun­light with a pro­posed block of high-den­sity luxury flats.

Dlamini, the for­mer Wool­worths di­rec­tor and board chair­man of Aspen Phar­ma­care, has de­mol­ished her 591m² home — and a new build­ing is set to go up on the site.

Dlamini’s af­flu­ent neigh­bours on Ravine Road in­clude race­horse owner Karen Sel­lars of Field­spring Rac­ing and Keith Ship­ley, the CEO of ad­ver­tis­ing agency BBDO South Africa.

Dlamini has ap­plied to the city for per­mis­sion to de­part from the “re­stric­tive ti­tle deed con­di­tions” and her neigh­bours have un­til Oc­to­ber 2 to “ob­ject” or “com­ment”.

This week her per­sonal as­sis­tant, Buhle Ngubane, said Dlamini was “out of the coun­try and with lim­ited ac­cess to e-mail”.

Right be­hind Dlamini’s home is a mas­sive prop­erty un­der con­struc­tion, reg­is­tered in the name of the Fu­gard The­atre. Eric Abra­ham, mar­ried to Swedish phi­lan­thropist and Te­tra Pak heiress Si­grid Raus­ing, is one the di­rec­tors of the Fu­gard The­atre, but it is not known who will be liv­ing in the house.

A Ger­man na­tional re­cently paid close to R300-mil­lion cash for a home in the sub­urb. The 2015 city eval­u­a­tion of Dlamini’s home was R26.8-mil­lion.

Home­own­ers on the At­lantic Se­aboard go to great lengths to pro­tect their views. Ian Slot, MD of Se­eff Prop­er­ties on the At­lantic Se­aboard and the City Bowl, said ob­structed views af­fected prop­erty val­ues.

“If you are going to pay big money on a prop­erty that has got a view, it is very im­por­tant to check your neigh­bour’s rights be­fore you buy.”

Neigh­bours are fight­ing busi­ness­man Graeme Lazarus’s pro­posal for mul­ti­ple de­par­tures to per­mit the erec­tion of a block of six flats on his prop­erty. A de­tailed ob­jec­tion com­piled by town plan­ner Tommy Brum­mer on be­half of 32 neigh­bours says the pro­posed build­ing will block the “views cur­rently en­joyed by sur­round­ing prop­erty own­ers”.

“Sig­nif­i­cant de­par­tures have been ap­plied for from the south­east­ern com­mon bound­ary as this de­par­ture re­lates to ev­ery level of the build­ing and will have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on views and sun­light achieved from the prop­er­ties be­hind the build­ing, south­east, south and south­west of the prop­erty,” the re­port reads.

“Hav­ing a blank façade erected along a sin­gle plane for a height of in ex­cess of 20m will be most un­sightly from neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties and will have a neg­a­tive im­pact on the built form of the area.”

When it comes to the ex­tra park­ing — “966% more bays” than what is cur­rently per­mit­ted — the re­port says “Av­enue St Leon is so nar­row and dan­ger­ous that the refuse truck has to re­verse up the street ev­ery Wed­nes­day as there is not space for it to turn around if it drives to the end of the cul-de­sac in a for­ward gear”.

The re­port fur­ther notes: “The so­cioe­co­nomic im­pact of the ap­proval of the ap­pli­ca­tions will be sub­stan­tial and prej­u­di­cial.”

In ad­di­tion they claim that should the de­vel­op­ment go ahead, their prop­er­ties would be de­val­ued by up to 30%.

Lazarus re­fused to dis­cuss the is­sue but said they had em­ployed town plan­ners and were fol­low­ing all the “re­quire­ments gov­erned by the City of Cape Town”.

Pic­tures: Ru­van Boshoff

Judy Dlamini’s plot, af­ter she had the house de­mol­ished, and the build­ing un­der con­struc­tion on a site reg­is­tered to the Fu­gard The­atre.

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