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Lansdowne residents up in arms over 'destructive' development

Corner of Rokeby and Lawson road,at Belthorn estate where the proposed development will be built. Picture: Supplied

Corner of Rokeby and Lawson road,at Belthorn estate where the proposed development will be built. Picture: Supplied

Published Oct 14, 2021


Cape Town - Lansford and Crawford residents in Lansdowne are up in arms over a proposed and approved development which will see a three-storey mixed-use development with a retail side and residential apartments on the corner of Rokeby and Lawson roads in Belthorn Estate.

Residents said the proposed rezoning of the consolidated portion from single residential 1 to mixed use 1 was not compatible with the surrounding land uses and would alter the existing single residential character of the area significantly.

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The application was approved and the community has appealed and is currently awaiting the outcome.

Ratepayer Faeez Ismail said residents wanted the City to withdraw their approval of the development as the land was for residential use.

“There are two existing strip malls in Kromboom Road, causing traffic congestion, attracting vagrants and loitering in the roads around it.There are sufficient shops for the area. The proposed development will cause more traffic to come into the area, via Lawson Road, which is already very busy.

“There is a public park and a crèche close to the proposed development. Residents have invested in their properties to enjoy it as a residential area and not have it encroached upon by a commercial space,” he said.

The Lansford Ratepayers Association said over 74 objections were raised by the community and placed on record. It said the community would not stand for the development, and neither would allow the City to bully them into allowing it.

“We will exhaust all legal recourse to prevent the development from going ahead and have consulted legal counsel. We must state that we are not averse to development in the area, but that proper consultation and processes be followed.

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“The people who reside here have paid a heavy price to own property in the area and we cannot allow their investments and lifestyles to be tarnished by unscrupulous and greedy development.

“The developers are most welcome to engage with the community around what might be suitable in the area,” the association said.

Civil engineer, resident and NFP mayoral candidate, Yusuf Mohamed, said the City’s town planner and the developer had not looked at the overall negative impact the development would create.

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“Some have sent objections to the District Manager: Cape Flats District and we would like further investigation into this development. It is clear that this mix/retail development will offer no benefit to the community. We believe that a holistic impact assessment was not done correctly and our internal planning consultant has not covered what we expressed in our communications and we believe that the City is acting irresponsibly for considering such development. The development cannot contain parking,” he said.

Mayco Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Marian Nieuwoudt, said the development was evaluated in terms of Section 99 of the Municipal Planning by-law and following the processing of the application, which included public participation, the application was approved by the Municipal Planning Tribunal (MPT) on July 13.

“The reasons for the decision were listed in the minutes of the MPT decision and were provided to all objectors to the application,” she said.

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The development’s non-impact on heritage and its consistency with the Municipal Spatial Development Framework and compliance with the Cape Flats District Plan were listed as some of the reasons for its approval.

Nieuwoudt said the appeal has been submitted to the Planning Appeals Advisory Panel for consideration and the outcome would be communicated once the process had been finalised.

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