Heritage chosen over ‘development greed’

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IOL ca p4 Bokaap land done The city has rejected plans to build a 10-unit block of flats in Augustus Road in the Bo-Kaap. Photo: Henk Kruger

Cape Town - The Bo-Kaap Civic Association has welcomed the city’s rejection of plans to build a 10-unit block of flats in Augustus Road, saying that for “far too long, heritage and social well-being have been sacrificed for development greed”.

Osman Shaboodien, of the Bo-Kaap Civic Association, said: “This development would have negatively impacted on the area. We support responsible development in our area and will encourage such development. We are indeed relieved that the sub-council rejected the application. The civic and residents will continue to be vigilant.”

The Good Hope sub-council rejected the application for the block of flats, saying it would detract from the character of this “historic, sensitive part of the city”.

Ward councillor Dave Bryant said there were 10 objections. “It is clear that a substantial number of people don’t want to see a 10-unit block of flats being built.”

The proposed site of the development in Augustus Street is vacant, flanked by a school and a public park.

In the motivation, the applicant argued that the development would be beneficial to the surrounding owners and complement the urban form of the Bo-Kaap. The use of high-density flats was also in line with the City of Cape Town’s densification policy.

Every effort would be made to ensure the facade was in keeping with the look of other structures in the area.

But the objectors argued that the development would not be in scale and harmony with the adjacent housing, and would obstruct the views of surrounding buildings.

Many complained about the traffic congestion and parking problems. Although the development would have included 20 parking bays, residents said there was already a parking shortage in the area.

However, the applicant said the impact on traffic would be minimal. A development next to the open park would improve safety in the street and create an opportunity to revitalise the space.

But Bryant said the park was being upgraded so that it could be used for sport and recreation by children in the area.

There were also concerns that the development would “create gentrification of the area with properties sold at exorbitant costs”.

The application has the option to appeal.

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Cape Argus

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