Flak over Flandorp development

Floor plan of Millview development in Sunridge, Table View.

A plan to build several three- and four-storey-high blocks of flats in Table View is being opposed by residents.

The Flandorp Family Property Trust, which owns the site at 25 Gie Road, flew into flak from nearby Circle Road and Canary Crescent residents in 2014 when it first tried to develop it.

Residents say they understood the land, which covers an area about the size of three rugby fields, was intended for a school.

The land was transferred by the national Department of Rural Development and Land Reform to the Flandorp Family Property Trust in order to settle a land restitution claim.

The Flandorp family lost their properties in Goodwood, Parow and Elsies River during apartheid’s forced removals.

The latest land-use application – seeking to rezone the site from Community Zoning 1 (CO1) to General Residential 2 (GR2) – was submitted on behalf of the family by Christine Havenga, of First Plan Town and Regional Planners. Ms Havenga told Tabletalk a previous rezoning and subdivision application had been submitted in 2014 but the case had been closed because of an internal administrative error during the land restitution process. The error had been resolved and the application resubmitted, she said, noting that it took cognisance of the comments made about the previous application.

“As the subject property is in the heart of Table View and surrounded by residential development and excellent public transport, this large tract of land is not deemed appropriate to house a single dwelling alone,” she said.

Ms Havenga said The Flandorp Family Property Trust had appointed a development company to assess and begin the development.

Table View residents haven’t warmed to the development in the past six years.

Back then, Ronelle van Rooyen led an online petition against it. Now that the plan is back on the table, Ms Van Rooyen said she would continue to object.

“The development is in front of my home. I will basically be staring into a brick wall every time I look outside my house. Our entire view of Table Mountain will be gone, and, most importantly, this is messing with the ecosystem in that area. We bought this place in 1996 and many people moved here because this was a school area. We don’t want the development on that land,” she said.

Ms Van Rooyen said she was worried about the area turning into a second Parklands where drugs and other crimes were rife because of densification.

Residents have also complained about the added burden on the sewerage system and higher traffic volumes.

The Greater Table View Action Forum’s chairwoman, Karen Davis, said they had asked the City for a 30-day extension to gather all affected residents’ objections. It was hard to spread the word, she said, because public meetings weren’t permitted under lockdown. And some elderly residents might not have access to the internet or be able to get to a post office.

“So far, residents who have been contacted are shocked and appalled at the idea,” she said. “This is an established residential suburb, with parks and greenbelts. And people invested here to see out their golden years. The traffic in and around Circle Road is tremendous,” she said, noting that the last traffic-impact study had been done in November last year before the Sunridge Circle Primary School had opened.

“We also have a problem with very ageing infrastructure, particularly in ‘old Table View’ with constant water-pipe bursts, sewerage pipe damage etc,” she said.

According to Ms Havenga, the new development will be called Millview, and it will be a gated, sectional-title security complex with five blocks of flats (a total of 337 units) and nine duplexes. There will be 16 more duplexes on the site’s perimeter — a section zoned Single Residential 1.

Ms Havenga said they had appointed transport engineers to conduct a traffic-impact study and civil engineers had prepared a civil-services-capacity report for the proposed development, in consultation with the City’s engineering department.

Mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment Marian Nieuwoudt said that the City’s development management department was awaiting public comment on the development application.

“We have sent notices to property owners in the vicinity of the affected property (Canary Crescent, Sunridge) informing them of the application, and where to get access to the relevant documents. The assessment of the development application will also take into consideration all of the applicable factors, as per the Municipal Planning By-law and relevant City policies – among which the impact on traffic, the capacity of the City’s service infrastructure (for water, sanitation, electricity, and so forth) to serve the proposed development, etc,” she said.

The closing date for comments and objections is August 10. The documents can be viewed here.