Cape Town - There would be no further development for the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA). That's if the City of Cape Town has anything to say about the matter.
On Wednesday, at a full council meeting, the City approved the revised Municipal Spatial Development Framework, the City's mayoral committee member for transport and urban development Brett Herron said.
The framework focuses on curbing urban sprawl and the regeneration of the city's urban core to maximise "inward growth and transit-oriented development accompanied by higher densities and land-use diversification".
As part of this development plan, the City would fight to protect the PHA, an area under threat from possible housing development in answer to the city's housing crisis.
The Western Cape government is still conducting hearings during which submissions about the further development of the zone are being made.
There is also a court process under way in which a number of civic groups and organisations have opposed the development of the area.
"The revised MSDF identifies the PHA as a unique area that requires a special focus within our spatial planning policies and frameworks," Herron said.
"In particular, we recognised that we needed to provide policy certainty around the future of the PHA. As such, the MSDF states clearly that the remainder of the PHA consisting of about 2 100 ha should be protected, given the role it plays in resilience and food security for Cape Town.
"During the public consultation process on the then still proposed MSDF, the City received substantial comment on the future of the PHA. Following on from the input received, the City included policy guidance in the MSDF to protect the PHA as a highly valuable urban agricultural area, elevating its status to that of a protected natural environment and conservation area where no further development will be allowed.
"Furthermore, the revised MSDF only allows for incremental development in the areas surrounding the PHA. This relates mainly to the southernmost area of the PHA where land use rights were already granted prior to the now revised and adopted MSDF. It is anticipated that the incremental development will provide a buffer to further encroachment.
"It is important to note that areas identified for incremental development are not a priority for the City going forward, meaning that the City will keep on servicing existing developments and maintaining existing infrastructure. New infrastructure would, however, need to be sequenced on the basis that the infrastructure requirement of the prioritised Urban Inner Core has been met," Herron said.