New Stel­len­bosch de­vel­op­ments ques­tioned

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - NOLOYISO MTEMBU

AR­EAS in Stel­len­bosch are due for ex­pen­sive up­grades but the ap­proval of new property de­vel­op­ments has raised ques­tions from op­po­si­tion par­ties in the Winelands town.

They claim plans were approved with­out being tabled be­fore City Coun­cil. Pro­posed de­vel­op­ments ad­ver­tised in a lo­cal news­pa­per raised sus­pi­cion of fur­ther deals.

New premises for Medi­clinic Hospi­tal on the R44 came to light when EFF coun­cil­lor Der­rick Hen­drickse asked the coun­cil about the au­tho­ri­sa­tion of re­zon­ing and de­vel­op­ment for the site.

Hen­drickse said: “If we only found out about this from news­pa­per ad­verts, what else are we not aware of ? What else is being approved with­out our knowl­edge?”

He can’t re­call the mat­ter being placed be­fore the coun­cil or any of its com­mit­tees.

Mu­nic­i­pal man­ager Geral­dine Met­tler said that ac­cord­ing to the coun­cil’s sys­tem of del­e­ga­tions, the di­rec­tor could con­sider ap­pli­ca­tions for re­zon­ing.

“The di­rec­tor and/ or the Plan­ning and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment port­fo­lio com­mit­tee have del­e­gated author­ity to con­sider land-use plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions sub­mit­ted prior to De­cem­ber 1, 2015,” she said.

Met­tler said the author­ity of the di­rec­tor of Plan­ning and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, Dupre Lom­baard, could “de­cide on all ap­pli­ca­tions sub­mit­ted sub­se­quent to De­cem­ber 1, 2015”.

In re­sponse to a re­quest for com­ment, mu­nic­i­pal­ity spokesper­son Ver­non Bow­ers for­warded a let­ter from Lom­baard, sim­i­lar to Met­tler’s re­ply to coun­cil, stat­ing that author­ity to con­sider land-use ap­pli­ca­tions was by “del­e­ga­tion for de­ci­sion-mak­ing and re­moval of red tape to ap­pli­ca­tions sub­mit­ted on or af­ter De­cem­ber 1, 2015”.

Ger­rit van den Berg of At­ter­bury Property, which is de­vel­op­ing the new hospi­tal in Stel­len­bosch, said their ar­chi­tect sub­mit­ted an ap­pli­ca­tion for re­zon­ing of the land, “Farm 1049/2 from Busi­ness Zone to In­sti­tu­tional Zone”, in 2015.

“Along with this ap­pli­ca­tion was var­i­ous other ap­pli­ca­tions made, of which among oth­ers were the ap­pli­ca­tion to­wards en­vi­ron­men­tal af­fairs as well as the her­itage ap­pli­ca­tions,” Van den Berg said.

The ar­chi­tects were no­ti­fied of the ap­proval in Jan­uary. Van den Berg said six ob­jec­tions for the re­zon­ing were noted, but three were with­drawn.

There are also ques­tions over the planned con­struc­tion of a 40 000m2 Sawmill Shop­ping Cen­tre off Adam Tas Road.

ANC coun­cil­lor Ron­alda Nalumango said it was strange how the de­vel­op­ments were not brought to coun­cil.

She said the coun­cil should have an op­por­tu­nity to en­sure in­clu­sive de­vel­op­ment of the shop­ping cen­tre, by set­ting con­di­tions for the busi­nesses set to ben­e­fit.

Van den Berg said no plans had been sub­mit­ted for the shop­ping cen­tre.

“The Sawmill is part of a big­ger, mixed-use precinct (re­tail, com­mer­cial, hotel, res­i­den­tial and light in­dus­trial) of which At­ter­bury is only a 50% part­ner in the re­tail com­po­nent,” he said.

“The ap­pli­ca­tion was thus brought by the landowner, which is not At­ter­bury. At­ter­bury will only buy 50% of the re­tail por­tion once we com­mence with a project.”

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