Cape Town - The City has given the green light to the Harbour Arch - a R15 billion building on the Foreshore, according to the developers who said they had been informed that the City has dismissed all appeals relating to the development.
Amdec Group chief executive, James Wilson said: “We have already started with the excavation and it will be completed by the end of September. There was a long-winded process, because we have existing rights which we acquired back in 2012, but we needed additional rights in order to start construction to build upwards so we applied for additional rights last year where groups objected to that.”
Wilson said there was nothing that more poignantly symbolised the dereliction of Cape Town’s foreshore than its unfinished freeway; a forgotten relic that blights the dynamic landscape of the CBD.
“It’s an eyesore that has become an unfortunate landmark. A sobering reminder of what a lack of vision can mean for an urban space. Fortunately, the construction of the Amdec Group’s R15bn Harbour Arch development at the gateway to the CBD means that this part of the foreshore will no longer be viewed as a wasteland of missed opportunity,” he said.
Wilson said the development would include 100 units of inclusionary housing. “Allow me to state it is not a legal obligation for us to include affordable housing in our development mainly because the City doesn’t have a inclusionary housing policy,” he said.
The Harbour Arch development was initially approved by the Municipal Planning Tribunal in October last year. The matter was then taken on for appeal by Ndifuna Ukwazi and several other organisations.
Harbour Arch is set to be built on a 5.8hectare site, with 198000m² of usable space and six individual towers. The site would also have two new hotels that will be operated by Marriott International, long-standing partners of the Amdec Group and the world’s largest hospitality group.
The City’s Planning Appeals Advisory Panel held two meetings over the last two months where the Harbour Arch proposed development was tabled.
On those two occasions the Cape Argus asked whether any decision was made. At the time deputy mayor Ian Neilson said: “The committee finalised its recommendations to the mayor on 31 agenda items. The decision will be available for public information once the mayor has made his decision and the applicants have been informed.”
Jonty Cogger, Ndifuna Ukwazi’s attorney, said: “Harbour Arch will likely be the biggest and most exclusive development we will see in our lifetimes, redefining the gateway to Cape Town CBD.
“It is developments like Harbour Arch that entrench Cape Town’s position as one of the most unequal and racially divided cities in South Africa and the world.”