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Cape Town - After 15 years of lobbying, almost R3 million in ratepayers’ money and the collection of thousands of signatures from concerned residents, the City of Cape Town says it plans to preserve the Sea Point Pavilion as a public open space, free from commercial development.
Patricia de Lille said her mayoral committee would consider a recommendation to reject any land use applications that were being dealt with by the council.
There would be no hotel or retail development on the site, which De Lille said was a “prominent feature of the Cape Town landscape enjoyed by families from all areas of the city, and visitors”.
She said council approval of the recommendation, put forward by councillor Beverley Schafer earlier this year, would “bring this long-standing unfortunate process to an end”.
Janey Ball, of the civic organisation Seafront for All (Seafa), was elated to hear that “after all the appeals and the negotiations” the site would remain a public space.
Anton Bredell, MEC for Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, rejected the development proposal in December, fuelling hopes that the city would also withdraw its original proposal call and maintain the area as an open public space.
De Lille confirmed the city’s decision came after Bredell’s rejection of the development, and because of the final liquidation of the developer on June 11.
Lorna Levy, of Seafa, said the association had been waiting since June for the city to make an announcement, but things had seemed to “go quiet”.
As recently as last week it was told at a ward committee meeting that there was no clarity yet on the pavilion.
While “delighted”, Levy said the recommendation needed to get the green light from the mayoral committee and the council. The future of the pavilion has been up in the air since the city called for development proposals in 1998.
An application from On Track Developments to build a hotel on the Clifton side and a triple-storey shopping complex with restaurants and shops on the Cape Town side sparked a huge public outcry.
Concerns included the construction of the hotel below the high-water mark and the precedent the development would set for projects elsewhere on the promenade.
In 2004, Tasneem Essop, the then-MEC for environmental affairs and development planning in the ANC-controlled province, issued a record of understanding, giving the controversial proposal the green light.