Appeal fails to stop Table View flats

A block of flats has been approved for the corner of Gie and Arnold roads in Table View.

Table View residents are upset that their appeal to stop a block of flats going up on the corner of Arnold and Gie roads has failed.

Since April 2021, residents have been fighting the plan for a five-storey, 35-unit block of flats in their neighbourhood.

The site is zoned as General Residential Zone (GR3) and part of the application requires the floor plan to be increased from 2204m² to 2399m².

Residents and civic groups appealed after the municipal planning tribunal gave the development the nod, but now mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has ruled in favour of the developers.

Residents are particularly upset about an on-site sewage-treatment plant for the block of the flats, and Heather Kingsley, from the Greater Table View Action Forum (GTAF), said there was the risk of a spill from such a facility and she wanted to know what would happen to it once upgrades to the Potsdam sewage treatment plant had been completed.

“The City had not aligned the process for the management of such negative impacts on the environment. This also begs the question that who will actually be held responsible for the maintenance of the plant for its life span and subsequent decommissioning once Potsdam is finally updated/completed?

“We are concerned that in allowing the development, the mayor and the City have shown contempt for the residents of not only Table View but suburbs bordering further down the Diep River and Milnerton Lagoon as what happens here will impact all.”

It was concerning that the City and the mayor would allow an “unproven” private wastewater treatment plant to be approved at the planning stage, she said.

“What this application represents is that the mayor and the City will allow a private wastewater treatment plant metres away from residents’ properties and on the doorstep of schools, and this is not the only development with a package plant application. This one sets the precedence for our suburb to become a mini Potsdam and this is not acceptable.”

When approving the development, Mr Hill-Lewis said that the on-site sewage plant was temporary and that it would be subjected to a water licence application, which would also go out for public participation.

Jody Francis, of FJC Consulting Town Planners & Land Surveyors, which submitted the application for the development on behalf of East African Properties (Pty) Ltd, did not respond to questions by deadline, but in 2021, he said the development was compatible with the community and would comply with all the municipal planning tribunal’s requirements (“Developments overloading infrastructure,” Tabletalk, April 7, 2021).

Neighbouring residents like Cameron Becker are fuming, saying the City ignores their concerns in favour of making money.

“The City will probably get money off this deal. Why else would they approve such a thing? It doesn’t make any sense. It’s like they are desperate to get more people living here in Cape Town just to make money off them.”

However resident Toni Allard said she was in favour of more developments.

“These will help have a more inclusive community. Not everyone can afford to buy a house here, and Table View is one of the nicest areas to live in. So naturally people will want to move here, and developers will see this as a great business opportunity for them. Older residents of Table View just don’t want to see any change,” she said.

In January of 2022, Mr Hill-Lewis backed the residents of Table View and ruled against a 56-unit development on Arum Road.