Confusion over plans for Woodstock developments after City’s online meeting
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Cape Town - Following the City's online meeting about the draft Spatial Development Framework (SDF) for the Table Bay District on Tuesday night, there has been confusion on whether Queens Park in Woodstock has been removed from being earmarked for potential development.
On Monday the residence started a petition opposing the earmarking of the Victoria Walk (Golders Green) and the Queens Park Sports Field for potential high density and low density development.
Yesterday the residents woke up to the news from ward councillor Paddy Chapple that Queens Park was removed from being earmarked for development.
In an email communication between Chapple and City’s Senior Professional Officer on Metropolitan Spatial Planning Margaret Murcott yesterday, Chapple initially complimented Murcott on the “extremely well run meeting last night” and moved on to say that “your colleagues were extremely well prepared” in which Murcott responded that “we will be removing the Queens Park and park in Salt River from the new development area map layer to make it clear these will be preserved for green recreational space”.
However, Mayco member for Spatial Planning and Environment Marian Nieuwoudt could not confirm this. She said the City will consider the request as part of the review of the draft SDF for the Table Bay District, once the public participation period has closed on June 6.
“The City hosted an online meeting about the draft Spatial Development Framework (SDF) for the Table Bay District on 18 May 2021. It was advocated by those present at this meeting that the Queens Park erf and the park must remain green spaces. The said discussion emanated from a proposal that is contained in the draft SDF. It is a mere proposal for consideration of sites that could be developed in future to serve other needs,” she said.
Nieuwoudt said the public participation period was still ongoing. When approached for clarity Chapple referred the Cape Argus to the City.
In its initial response Woodstock Residents Association committee member Ute Kuhlmann said the association was happy that Chapple took such prompt notice of the feedback from residents regarding Queens Park and made their voices heard in the meeting on Tuesday night.
“We will now carry on campaigning to push the City to save as much as possible of the Victoria Walk parks as well and persuade our new Ward 115 Councillor Ian McMahon to stand with us. Queens Park was earmarked for low density, but the old day hospital site and Victoria Park are earmarked for high density development, so we want to keep those public green spaces -- for the sake of the existing and the future residents,” she said.
Woodstock Aesthetic Advisory Committee member Andrew Savage said it was hard to believe that a quick two days worth of social pressure has now suddenly changed their minds resulting in the Queens Park development areas being quickly removed.
“If the City is going to fold so quickly then additional and even heavier pressure needs to be placed on them with regards to Golders Green/Victoria Walk fields and Al-Noor Home precinct, the Quarry Park adjacent the Oasis building – this area was specifically supposed to be rehabilitated by Oasis as part of their reinstatement of the old manor house they destroyed.
“The City has put no pressure on Oasis, and the follow through of this process. Had this park space been rehabilitated, one could only think of what it could become. More intense pressure on the City, its officials and our ward councillors is still required,” he said.