Citizen coalition against ‘overdevelopment’

Residents are trying to stop an application for a high rise in Short Street.

Table View residents have banded together to fight what they say is the overdevelopment of the area.

The residents have formed a group, Concerned Citizens Coalition; elected an executive committee and started a Facebook group, Stop the Over Development of Table View.

They want to investigate how developments get passed and inform residents of their rights and how to object to land-use applications they are unhappy with.

They believe the City of Cape Town is not transparent and breaking its own by-laws by approving some of the development applications.

They want a moratorium on all developments and an independent forensic investigation, including a lifestyle audit of the City’s town planning department.

They believe streets such as Arum Road, Briza Road and Pine Way, among others, have been targeted by developers wanting to put up high-rise buildings.

Since last year Arum Road has been at the centre of at least six such applications. The latest has been for a four-storey block of flats with 24 parking bays and 19 units at 154 Arum Road (“Cornerstone of concern for Arum,” Tabletalk, August 8).

Greater Table View Forum (GTAF) chairwoman Karen Davis said residents had been fighting separate battles with developers and the City, but now would stand united and speak with one voice.

Concerned Citizens Coalition chairman, Bill Martin, said he had moved to Arum Road last year for “some peace and quiet”.

In the same week, he had moved in, he had learnt of an application to build a block of flats next to his house. This prompted him to join the Concerned Citizens Coalition.

“This is not just happening in Table View. Overdevelopment has been happening for years in other areas and we need to meet up with these people and form a network to assist and back each other up,” said Mr Martin.

David Ayres, who is fighting to stop a high-rise going up in Short Street, said that if residents did not intervene “the place is going to be decimated”.

“We know if we swop notes with residents from other areas, we’re probably going to see a pattern. Things get passed because no one knows what’s going on,” said Mr Ayres.

Brett Herron, the City’s Mayco member for transport and urban development, said allegations of fraud, corruption,
and wrongdoing, accompanied by supporting evidence, could be submitted
to the City manager’s office, or to the
City’s fraud line, or ombudsman at 021 400 5487.

“Alternatively, residents with evidence of corruption can also approach the South African Police Service and lay charges,” said Mr Herron.

He said all land-use and development applications should be submitted to the City’s development management offices to be evaluated in terms of the Municipal Planning By-law (MPBL) of 2015, and other related and relevant City policies.

The by-law compelled the City to follow due process and set time frames when finalising land-use applications, he said.

“Hence it will be unlawful to place a moratorium on the processing of these applications,” he said.

For more information, go to Stop the Over Development of Table View Facebook page or http://inov8onlinemarketing.co.za