60-day wait for rehab centre to get the nod
A DECISION on a special consent application for the conversion of a residential block of flats next to a primary school in Morningside into a private drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre would be made in two months.
The advert for public objections on the ethekwini Municipality website and published in the Daily News and Mercury says written objections closed on March 4. Municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said all submissions will be considered as part of the planning evaluation of the application.
“The municipality will have a maximum of 60 days to come to a decision following the expiry of the public participation process. All objectors will be notified of the decision.”
The Momila Devi Maharaj Family Trust and Zensai Treatment, Recovery and Wellness Centre for Drug and Alcohol Abuse – stated the memorandum in support of the application for deviations to the approved plan (flats) and conversion – falls within the development control of the ethekwini Central Town Planning Scheme and is zoned general residential 2. The City was responding after it had been sent questions on information that it had issued more than one “stop” notice, resulting in construction of the block of flats cease twice, and a complaint laid with its Ombudsman by a resident.
The resident said the developer, after purchasing the property, started building before October 2019 without submitting approved plans. The building inspectorate team was contacted and following an inspection, confirmed building without a plan and issued a stop notice.
“The municipality issued a stop notice in November/december 2019 and building ceased. The developer again started building in January 2022 without submitted or approved plans. I contacted the building inspection team again, who inspected and confirmed they were building without a plan and issued a stop notice, sent to law enforcement.
“In June 2022 building again commenced; this was brought to the attention of the municipality. An official again confirmed a stop notice. She, however, later said the plans were now approved. I enquired how to go about getting a copy and was told by her to contact the town planning department.”
The resident said after more pressure on the municipality he followed the Protection of Personal Information Act (Popi) process to request a copy of the plan. He paid for it and was told he would receive the plan within 30 days. “But all follow-ups confirmed the plan was missing.”
Maharaj Family Trust managing director, Rajan Maharaj, said a nearby resident reported to the building inspectorate that construction was being carried out without approved plans. “The building inspector issued a notice to stop work. However, I immediately sent her a letter of approval of plans, and building continued. Every detail of this construction is done in accordance with approved plans. The building is set out and built exactly as in the approved plans.” Whatsapp your views on this story to 071 485 7995