Sea Point residents voice opposition to hotel development on residential land
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Cape Town - The Sea Point Fresnaye Bantry Bay Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (SFB) is aggrieved over a proposal to redevelop a block of flats into a hotel on a land currently zoned for general residential – not for business.
The association said it had discovered that the developer requested that the City waive the public advertising for the application, which is located on 2 Main Drive, which it said was an attempt – on the part of the applicant – to bypass the concerns of neighbouring residents about changing the function of the building.
On its application, the developer said that due to the minor nature of the application and the negligible impact the proposal would have on the surrounding properties, the City should waive public advertising. SFB also raised concerns about a lack of parking and a proposed rooftop terrace, which it said was typically used for events and functions. It said that providing a space for noisy party-goers in a residential area was asking for trouble.
“To change this to a hotel, without providing any parking, makes no sense at all. SFB has already been in discussions with the City with regard to underhand changes to parking arrangements – in Sea Point and beyond – for new developments. It is a fallacy to believe that new developments, especially ones that will be used by visitors, will rely on the very limited public transport nearby,” the association said.
SFB chairperson Micheal Ender said responsible corporate behaviour was essential, and that developers must take the lead in that if they want to get buy-in from their neighbours.
“It is to the credit of the City that they chose to disregard this request and referred the matter to the SFB, without which this application would have flown under the radar. Developers must recognise that they are working in a community, and need to engage with that community to get buy-in for what they might want to achieve. The SFB is not, in principle, against development – change is vital in any community – but it has to be appropriate and work for that community,” the association said.
Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl Action Group spokesperson Paul Jacobson said residents had to insist that the developers follow due process.
Mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, Marian Nieuwoudt, said the application was still being assessed by the City.
Nieuwoudt said that despite the motivation by the applicant, the City would undertake its own assessment.