Cape Town - In a victory against gentrification, the developers of a block of flats in Albert Road, Woodstock, were ordered by Heritage Western Cape (HWC) to go back to the drawing board and alter their plans.
HWC ordered Signatura and Indigo Properties to redesign their plans and take into consideration gentrification in the area.
HWC chief executive Dr Mxolisi Dlamuka said: “HWC decided that the current heritage impact assessment be expanded to include a social and living heritage study.
“Furthermore, HWC requires that the proposed development be redesigned to address concerns regarding the urban heritage significance of the Albert Road historical corridor.
“The proposed development is located on a precinct that contains historical and cultural importance to the story of the development of Woodstock.”
Reclaim the City presented to HWC the impact of exclusive developments like WEX2 on the community.
WEX2 is a proposed exclusive new block of flats that Signatura and Indigo Properties, who are also the owners of the Biscuit Mill, are building on
the corner of Albert Road and Frere Street. The Exchange and WEX1 have already been completed nearby, with the latest flats selling for more than R3 million.
The developers plan to develop the whole precinct with another three developments in the coming years.
Developments such as WEX2 have contributed to dramatic increases in the value of land and annual rental increases of between 10% and 20% according to Reclaim the City.
“Now, for the first time in a development application Woodstock, Heritage Western Cape has requested the developers to conduct a social impact study. This means that the developers have to describe the living heritage in the area and report on whether the development will have an impact and what can be done about it,” said Zacharia Mashele spokesperson for Ndifuna Ukwazi.
Mashele said that the development is much needed and welcome but it needs to be inclusive and help build the community not just be built in the community.