A proposed residential development to be built close to the Pretoria East Cemetery has raised concerns among some members of the surrounding areas. Picture: Jacques Naude/Afican News Agency (ANA)

Pretoria - The City of Tshwane plans to go ahead with the process to establish an extension to Pretorius Park, despite concerns of its proximity to the Pretoria East Cemetery.

Pretorius Park Extension 40 would benefit those living in the informal settlement known as “Plastic View” who have suffered a number of devastating fires.

But there are some in the affluent surrounding areas of Garsfontein, Woodhill, Mooikloof, Featherwood and The Wilds estates who are not keen on the mixed-income development. The development will consist of around 800 housing units in the form of townhouses and flats and cater for different income brackets.

Concerned residents said they were worried that Google maps showed that the land earmarked for development was close to or incorporated the cemetery. “If you look critically at the map (for development) it looks like open land, but compare it on Google maps it incorporates the cemetery.”

Ward 91 councillor Reyaan Uys said although Pretorius Park Extension 40 would incorporate the cemetery, nothing would be built on the site of the graves and they would not be relocated.

Town planner Tshilidzi Mudzielwana allayed fears raised by some residents and confirmed that the development would be concentrated on the opposite side of the cemetery.

“There are already flats between the land for development and the cemetery,” he said. “No graves will be disturbed.”

The notice of intent to develop the remainder of portion 284 of the farm Garsfontein 384 JR for housing, was lodged in mid-2016. Mudzwielwana could not indicate the period of construction because the project was still at an early stage.

However, it is expected the town planning application could be approved by June - opening the way for construction to start.

Part of the planning included the rezoning of the land, public participation and giving notice to neighbours and others with a material interest.

“We have done the environmental impact assessment and the community was actually involved in the process of public participation.” Those with objections can write to the council.

Pretoria News