The City of Cape Town is calling on residents and interested parties to comment on the proposal to exempt the Parow Station Precinct from heritage protections. Picture : Ian Landsberg/ANA
The City of Cape Town is calling on residents and interested parties to comment on the proposal to exempt the Parow Station Precinct from heritage protections. Picture : Ian Landsberg/ANA

City of Cape Town wants to exempt Parow Station Precinct from heritage protection

By Staff Reporter Time of article published May 27, 2019

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town is calling on residents and interested parties to comment on the proposal to exempt the Parow Station Precinct from heritage protections under the National Heritage Resources Act. 

This is to allow owners to alter, improve and demolish buildings that are older than 60 years; and for the consolidation of three or more properties that fall within this area without going through provincial heritage processes.

The purpose of the proposed exemption is to make it easier for property owners to alter, demolish, or rebuilt properties in the Parow Station Precinct, or to consolidate properties for development.

Currently, all buildings that are older than 60 years of age enjoy heritage protection in terms of the National Heritage Resources Act (NHRA).

"Thus, all owners of buildings older than 60 years must first submit a heritage application to the Provincial Heritage Regulator, which is Heritage Western Cape, for approval in terms of the NHRA. They can only submit a development application or a building plan to the City once HWC has granted them the go-ahead," said Mayco Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Marian Nieuwoudt. 

"Thus, should this proposal be approved, it will reduce unnecessary regulatory processes, and it could also reduce the development approval times and cost which will improve the financial viability of development in the Parow Station Precinct."

The Parow Station Precinct is adjacent to the Parow Station and bounded by Voortrekker Road, Tygervallei Street, Cloete and Picton Streets. This area is in serious need of urban regeneration and investment.

Importantly, the proposed exemption does not give or take away any development rights. Property owners who wish their current properties to remain as is will not be affected.

The designation of the heritage exemption area will have the following effects:

  • reduce unnecessary regulatory processes to enable greater certainty for property owners who want to invest in their property
  • reduce development approval times and cost, thereby improving financial viability of development in the designated area
  • with the reduction of costs and approval times investor confidence will be stimulated, which improves the likelihood of the development of affordable housing opportunities in well-located areas such as the Parow Station Precinct  
  • regulatory reforms that encourage appropriate urban development assist in stimulating the construction industry, thereby providing much needed jobs

"I want to assure residents that the City did its homework before we submitted this proposal to the local subcouncil last week and that we’ve also consulted with Heritage Western Cape. Still, we want residents and interested parties to tell us what they think and to give us their comments," said Nieuwoudt.

The proposal is available on the City’s website at www.capetown.gov.za/haveyoursay and at the local subcouncil office in Parow.

Objections and comments, together with reasons, may be submitted before or on 27 June 2019:

  • By sending an email to [email protected]
  • Online at www.capetown.gov.za/haveyoursay
  • Written submissions can be handed in or posted to: Urban Integration Department, City Growth Management; 18th Floor (2-Bay Side), Civic Centre, 12 Hertzog Boulevard, Cape Town; 8000.

In 2016 the City’s Department for Environment and Heritage Resources conducted an audit of the properties in the Parow Station Precinct to identify buildings that are worthy of conservation. They found that more than 70% of the buildings in this precinct are less than 60 years old, and that the alteration or demolishing of buildings older than 60 years in this precinct will not have a significant negative heritage impact.

The outcome of this audit was submitted to Heritage Western Cape’s Committee for Inventories, Grading and Interpretation for consideration in 2017. In November 2018 the committee indicated it supported the proposal, subject the outcome of a public participation process for residents and interested and affected parties to comment or object.

The Parow Station Precinct falls within the Voortrekker Road Corridor Integration Zone (VRCIZ) and is one of three integration zones (IZs) where the City will prioritise dense, transit-oriented growth and development.

"Parow, and more specifically the Parow Station Precinct, has significant potential for renewal and redevelopment. It is centrally located and is close to major employment centres like Century City, N1 City and Tyger Valley, the airport, and industrial nodes," said Nieuwoudt.

"There is also a diverse range of land uses in terms of residential, commercial, retail, industrial and public facilities. This precinct is ideally located to stimulate growth and to create more inclusive communities with access to improved services, job opportunities, and affordable housing and public transport."

Cape Argus

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