Woodstock residents draw up petition to preserve area's open spaces
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Cape Town - A petition has been drawn up by a group of concerned Woodstock residents to stop the City of Cape Town from developing a housing project on an open field.
Community member Teun Baartman said: “The purpose of this petition is to preserve the open spaces that we have in Woodstock so that residents can have access to them.”
The City is proposing that the public open space bordered by Golders Green Rd, Melbourne Road, Victoria Walk and Earl Street in Woodstock, be reserved for incorporation into a housing development. The land is adjacent to the old Woodstock Hospital.
Baartman said: “Woodstock has been considered an easy target by the City to solve their housing crisis.
“This is a housing development and we are not sure why they would want to utilise the open field when they have promised to redevelop Woodstock Hospital.”
The petition has over 937 signatures and states: “the last few years the City approved large scale developments in the Woodstock area without considering public opinion.
“This has resulted in a huge increase in the number of people living in the area and growing congestion on the roads.”
Last year, the City announced it had earmarked the Woodstock Hospital site for affordable housing.
However, the development of the Woodstock Hospital is under severe pressure due to an illegal occupation of the building of over 900 residents. This is despite the City obtaining an interdict last year to prevent further illegal occupation.
Since the old hospital was occupied in March 2017, the number of residents has increased. The occupation organised by Reclaim the City, has renamed it Cissie Gool House.
Mayco member for human settlements Malusi Booi said the proposed development was part of the Woodstock Hospital park.
“The objective of the request for proposal is the creation of integrated communities which means the bid proposals for each site should allow for the creation of liveable spaces which takes into account recreational space.
“The Woodstock Hospital Park site was earmarked for development as it was identified as an asset that was underutilised, although the importance of the space is recognised.
“The retention of the public space is a specific criterion in the redevelopment of the site,” Booi said.
Resident Lee van der Berg said: “Public open space plays a very important role in the ‘well-being’ of a neighbourhood there is a need for well-located affordable housing, and also a need for public open space for recreational purposes.”