Suites ‘not suitable’

Developers have applied for the approval of a multi-million rand mixed-use development, Table Bay Suites, in Milnerton.

Milnerton residents and the owner of a shop near the site of a planned R150 million mixed-use development are vowing to fight it.

The developer of Table Bay Suites claims the “high quality building” will add value to properties in an area that “cries out for upliftment”.

But opponents to the plan say the development has inadequate parking, will invade neighbours’ privacy and cause property values to drop.

Urban Eye Planning and Development is the town planning consultancy assisting the land owner and developer, Peet Prinsloo, with the application to develop the remainder of erf 531 at 4 Millvale Road.

At the moment, the site is a parking lot, opposite Reidhof Centre. The centre comprises Milnerton Mall, offices and small businesses. There are also PO boxes at the site, which Mr Prinsloo said would be moved inside the new building.

The development will have shops and a restaurant on the first floor, offices on the second floor, flats from the third to the seventh floors and 54 parking bays. The flats will be between 49m² and 91m² in size.

According to the land-use-application documents on the City’s website, the development will have 70 flats, but Mr Prinsloo said that was a “typo” and the block would have only 60 flats.

The application calls for the site to be rezoned from general business (GB) 3 to general business (GB) 4.

Both have a height restriction of 25 metres. Mr Prinlsoo said getting GB 4 meant they could add a basement level.

People have until Monday April 8 to submit comments.

The owner of the KwikSpar in Milnerton Mall, Heinrich Nortier, said parking was already a problem and the development would only aggravate it.

He said the site was supposed to be for “parking only” and was zoned as such for the use of Reidhof Centre in 1995.

A few years ago, Oxbow Office Equipment had been built at 6 Millvale Road and that had added to the parking problems, said Mr Nortier.

A section of the parking lot had been allocated for Oxbow staff only.

He showed messages taken from a Milnerton Facebook group in 2017 where people complained about the parking problem.

“I’ve stopped going there. Parking around the whole of Milnerton Mall is an absolute disaster,” read one message.

Another said: “I have wanted to go to the Spar so many times and have not found parking because of Oxbow cars taking up space… so I just drove away and went elsewhere. Not good for Spar.”

Mr Nortier also said heavy-duty trucks dropped off goods at the store using Millvale Road.

“It will be chaos,” he said.

The application says the development will consist of paid-for parking and Mr Nortier asked what will happen with tenants who don’t want to pay for parking?

But Mr Prinsloo said there was “zero control” in the parking lot at the moment.

MyCiTi commuters were parking their cars there, he said.

“Spar will benefit once we are done. The parking lot will be tarred properly, there will be landscaping. There will be proper control because people won’t be able to park there all day,” said Mr Prinsloo.

He said a traffic assessment had been done and that council promoted less parking space to promote public transport.

The idea, said Mr Prinsloo, was to have a building interactive with the parking area. He said the restaurant, resembling a “street cafe”, could do that.

Yehudit Eini lives one road away from Millvale Road. Her property is behind Oxbow Office Equipment.

“The new development above my head will be a disaster,” said Ms Eini who has been living in Milnerton for 29 years.

“If we had enough money to pay a lawyer, we could freeze everything for a proper investigation,” she said.

She said she felt “sorry for Spar”.

“I walk to Spar because I live in the next road. There is never parking. This is going to be a disaster,” she said, adding that she planned to submit an objection.

Residents voiced concerns about the development on the Facebook group Milnerton Neighbours (Less Regulated Rules). One suggested that those “negatively affected” by the development band together and raise money to stop it.

Mr Prinsloo said it was important to note that they were well within their rights to develop as the site was zoned GB3. But rezoning to GB4 meant they could build a more attractive building that would include office space as well as a larger restaurant.