File picture: Bongiwe Mchunu/Independent Media
Pretoria – Residents who claimed they were not given the opportunity to object to the establishment of restaurants at The Village in Hazelwood, Pretoria, didn't oppose the development during its conception stage.

This is according to Izelle Lemue, on behalf of The Village owner, Peter Michaletos, who together with the restaurateurs on Monday hit back at allegations that they were operating without the required permission.

“The point of departure (that there is no zoning for the current land uses) is incorrect,” Lemue told the Pretoria News on Monday.

“In terms of the residents, the rezoning applications were unopposed. We believe that it is therefore highly inappropriate for the residents at this point in time to complain about restaurants being established in the area,” she said.

Lemue said the residents consciously chose not to oppose the initial application.

Atterbury Property Holdings, along with nine other applicants, filed a motion at the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, to halt the continuation of the running of restaurants at The Village.

They levelled various accusations against the establishment, ranging from inappropriate noise levels, to not having sufficient parking for customers and not acquiring a liquor licence from the Gauteng Liquor Board.

“The owner had made an effort to meet the applicant (Atterbury), but unfortunately this was not received in a positive way,” Lemue said.

She said they would have preferred to discuss the matter with the applicant, but were not afforded the opportunity. 

Proposals offered as a possible solution to this dispute with the applicants would have to be beneficial to all and approved by the authorities.

“Please note that all the rezoning has in fact been proclaimed and that the current dispute revolves around the implementation of the conditions subject to which the rezoning was granted, with specific reference to the provision of parking.”

She said the actual subject matter of the dispute in the high court was sub judice and thus she would prefer not to go into detail.

Salt, one of the 16 restaurants named in the court case, also slammed the allegations made against the restaurants and the establishment.

Although not responding to specific questions about the allegations made by Atterbury, citing the pending litigation, the restaurant’s manager Andree Diamond defended its reputation.

“Salt eatery is a 100% legally compliant restaurant from the day it opened.

"We have been operating for four years, won numerous awards and have been written about and blogged about extensively,” Diamond said.

“We have been operating since before Atterbury Property Group broke ground on Phase 2 of the Club development, yet in all that time no one has ever complained about us, made any defamatory and slanderous allegations or opposed us in any way,” the restaurant manager said.

Salt and the other restaurants are situated on 16th Street in Hazelwood and offer a quaint dining experience.

Diamond said the restaurants offered a pleasant ambiance of small street cafés and shops. “You will certainly not be splattered with flat blobs and will find the smells rather appealing. You will also not be treading in over-spilling sewage and it will not be a life-threateningly dangerous experience,” Diamond said.

Last Friday, Francois de Wet, spokesperson for the Hazelwood Home Owners Association, said as a resident he had fallen victim to blobs of fat from the extractor fans being flung into his yard.

He said Michaletos was pitting him against his neighbours so they could sell their homes to him for more restaurants.

But Diamond said: “We are not aware of the existence of any Hazelwood Home Owners Association and do not know on whose behalf Mr De Wet may be speaking.”

He indicated that Salt would be opposing the litigation and papers in opposition were in the process of being prepared.

Pretoria News