Housing development will have own sewage plant

The floorplan for the proposed Millview development in Table View.

A housing development planned for a land-restitution site the size of three rugby fields in Table View will have its own private sewage plant, if the project is approved.

The Flandorp Family Trust owns the site, Erf 38599. The state awarded the land to the family in 2011 as part of a land-restitution deal. Since then, several development applications have hit flak.

In 2014, a rezoning and subdivision application was submitted to the City, but it was sunk by an administrative error during the land restitution process.

Another application was made in 2015 and residents immediately vowed to object to it. Many feared the plan would usher in low-cost housing and turn the area into a slum, and some 300 objections were filed.

Last year, Christine Havenga, of First Plan Town and Regional Planners, submitted an application on behalf of the trust to rezone the site from Community Zoning 1 (CO1) to General Residential 2 (GR2) for Millview, a development of three- and four-storey blocks of flats.

Residents say Millview will strain ageing water and sewer pipes and other infrastructure, and David Ayres, of the Greater Table View Action Forum, said the application was flawed in its reference to the applicant’s willingness to take the unusual step of building their own sewage plant on the site.

“A wastewater plant being industrial plant would not be permitted for the zoning of a residential area, and given the restrictions on electricity supply from Eskom then industrial generators would be required as a back-up, which would also not be permitted in a residential area. This application was advertised as being a land-use rezoning to general residential (GR 2) and single residential (SR1). We would suggest that the zoning to accommodate a wastewater treatment plant would need to change from the one advertised,” he said.

According to Marian Nieuwoudt, mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, the proposal for a residential development is still under consideration and has not been finalised. It had drawn 164 objections, she said.

“The developer is proposing to install a private wastewater treatment plant in response to the lack of additional bulk capacity at the Potsdam Wastewater Treatment Plant, to support the proposed development. The proposed plant has to comply with engineering standards as set by the competent authority, which is the National Department of Water Affairs,” she said.

Ms Havenga said the project’s engineers still had to give the City more details on the plan for the sewage plant, but the City’s water and waste directorate had backed the concept.

“Several other such plants have been approved elsewhere in the City for new residential developments. We will thus just provide more detail about it and where precisely it would be located on the site,” she said.

Meanwhile, Kerry Mauchline, spokeswoman for Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, said the proposed Flandorp development would not threaten the Western Cape Education Department’s plans to build schools on nearby land where a mobile school was currently.

In a letter to residents, Ms Schäfer said the Flandorp site had been consolidated from two plots. At the time of the restitution deal in 2011, she said, 5000m2 of the site – a 10m wide corridor – was going to be retained to access future schools on the adjacent site. The provincial Department of Transport and Public Works, which had owned the corridor, had asked the WCED whether it objected to it being disposed of for the Flandorp deal.

The WCED had not objected to the disposal of the corridor, Ms Schäfer said.