Cape Town - The City is busy preparing its Local Spatial Development Framework (LSDF), or neighbourhood plan, for Woodstock and Salt River (inclusive of University Estate and Walmer Estate) and has urged residents to be involved in the crafting of the plan.
Deputy mayor Eddie Andrews, who is also the Mayco member for spatial planning and environment, said: “An LSDF is a very important plan as it determines the development vision for an area on a local level.
“The City uses the LSDF for guidance when making decisions about development applications and land uses; and in the end, these decisions very much determine what a neighbourhood will look and feel like a few years down the line.”
Andrews said Woodstock and Salt River had experienced major changes over the past decade and the changes were partly because of the neighbourhood’s proximity to the Cape Town CBD and associated private investment.
He said the City’s intention was to create affordable housing opportunities that would see new families moving into the areas.
“The LSDF for Woodstock and Salt River will attempt to re-establish this unique neighbourhood, to strengthen the sense of belonging and place through protecting and enhancing the area’s heritage value to grow as a multi-cultural and integrated community.”
He said the LSDF would revitalise public open spaces and parks that had been neglected, stimulate the local economy through an appropriate spatial development vision, and integrate and connect Woodstock and Salt River with the surrounding areas.
Commenting on the City’s plans, Woodstock Residents’ Association (WRA) heritage and planning chairperson Ute Kuhlmann said the new framework needed to plan for more opportunities for locals.
She said the opportunities should include jobs, recreational facilities and public displays of the local social history.
“Woodstock has become a lot more expensive to live in, so residents had to leave the area and most of the new apartment blocks that have been built are unaffordable for residents.”
Kuhlmann said if a building gets developed and needs rezoning or parking exemptions, there should be a benefit flowing back to the community.
“High-rise developments don’t easily fit into the historical area, and densification efforts need to take into account that more people are working online and from home, shopping online, etc.
“To support the community, we need smarter thinking.”
Kuhlmann said the WRA wanted to see social housing, but not at the expense of green spaces in the area.
“Instead, we would like to see our parks revived, for example by having some businesses and homes closer around the edges so that the parks become safe.”
The WRA has urged all Woodstock, Salt River, Walmer and University Estate residents to get involved with the programme at the Open Day events and the online survey.
They said the City’s planning department had made a commendable effort to not just make this a tick-box public participation exercise.