The Philippi Horticultural Area. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Developer U-vest is not giving up on its plans to build a supermarket and a private school in the heart of Cape Town’s breadbasket - the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA).

On Tuesday, the developer applied for another rezoning application after its initial application was halted by the City in 2016.

PHA Food and Farming Campaign chairperson Nazeer Sonday said: “It is clear the developers have no leg to stand on and that their argument is that the part they will build on will not have an impact on the Cape Aquifer. This is completely misleading because that is the part that supplies the most water to the Cape Flats.”

Sonday said this could potentially ruin the food and water supply should the rezoning application be successful.

The City initially rejected U-vests application and said the proposal “lacks spatial logic as this is an isolated ad hoc development which is not integrated with the surrounding developments or land use”.

On Tuesday, the City’s municipal planning tribunal appeal committee decided to conduct a site inspection in order to make a decision.

“The matter was deferred for a site inspection by the appeals committee. As such, no decision has been made as yet,” said mayco member for spatial planning and environment Marian Nieuwoudt.

Sonday disagreed with the decision. “There is no need for the City to conduct a site inspection. The fact that they have bought the land already says a lot.

“The committee, I believe, should make up their minds and support the PHA. The City would save a lot of developers time if they declare a moratorium to protect the land.”

He said it was disappointing that the City had not backed the campaign to protect the PHA,

Campaigners have been challenging developments in the area, including a sand mine and a 472.36 hectare development called Oakland City.

U-vest told the Cape Argus in a statement: “Please be advised that at this stage we have no comment as the mayoral appeals committee could not make any decisions.”

@MarvinCharles17

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Cape Argus