Table View is being ‘captured’

Residents feel Arum Road is being targeted by developers who want to build high-density developments in the suburban road.

Property developers are not letting up on plans for high-density developments in several Table View roads and in particular, Arum Road where multiple applications are pending.

Elco Property Development has for a third time applied for the rezoning of 89, 91 and 93 Arum Road to allow for a block of flats.

Their first application for a four-storey block with 75 units was refused by Sub-council 3 in 2015 after residents shot down the plans (“Residents refuse Arum Road plan,” Tabletalk, November, 2015).

The company’s second application was made last year, and once again it hit a wall at sub-council (“Arum Road plan gets a no,” Tabletalk, August 23, 2017).

In the latest application last month Elco has reduced the number of units from 75 to 56.

Eldred Smith, Elco’s owner, said the latest application had fewer units and no building departures.

“The previous application had 75 units and 75 parking bays, whereas the subject application proposes 56 units and 57 parking bays. In order to have a minimal impact on the surrounding area, 18 parking bays, 19 units and the parking floor were omitted to improve the subject application and to ensure that it does not fall under the reasons as to why the first application was refused.”

He added that the application had been improved to “benefit the surrounding environment and not to harm any of the surrounding properties”.

In a separate bid, the property developer wanted rezoning for 181 Arum Road from single residential to general residential for a three-storey block of flats with ground-

down by sub-council in August last year.

The application was resubmitted a few weeks later where it again was not approved.

Meanwhile David Bettesworth Town Planners wants to build a 22-unit block of flats at 119 Arum Road but a resident, Eric Joffe, has objected.

“It is way out of keeping with the rest of the road, intrusive, over-densified and ugly,” he said.

Mr Joffe has called the aggressive development in Table View “state capture”.

“The number of ‘new applications’ for the first stage of ‘rezoning’ now in the pipeline are numerous and mind-boggling, and I appeal to the local town planners to exhibit some common sense and place a moratorium on all rezoning in Table View until the area can be viewed rationally and holistically and discussion held with residents,” said Mr Joffe.

He also opposed applications to remove restrictive title deeds as well as departures to allow for building extensions at 30 Arum Road.

However, Isalde du Toit, from David Bettesworth Town Planners, said Mr Joffe’s allegation that 30 Arum Road was one of the properties “quietly getting a rezoning without public participation” was wrong.

“This property has been zoned general residential since the establishment of the old Table View Township,” Ms Du Toit said.

“There was no rezoning required, and only a minor regulation departure was required to permit the current proposal.”

She said the application at 30 Arum Road was to allow the building “to extend a few centimetres over the historical building line and to exceed the coverage by approximately 30m² just to completely cover some of the garages”.

She said garages were “advisable” because the area was near the sea.

“It is for this reason that it is proposed to cover the garages,” she said.

Ms Du Toit told Tabletalk that David Bettesworth Town and Regional Planners only submit applications to council that they believe comply with sound town planning principles.

“The applications submitted by us in Table View and that are currently being advertised, comply with adopted council policy. This council policy promotes transport orientated development that is increasing densities along public transport corridors in order to promote efficient and sustainable public transport systems and an efficient and environmentally sustainable city, to the benefit of all its residents. David Bettesworth Town and Regional Planners welcomes the public engagement process around our applications and views this as necessary and vital in order to ensure the best possible development outcome,” she said.

Mandy da Matta, vice-chairman of the Table View Ratepayers’ Association, said there needs to be a balance between the advancement of a community, housing needs and infrastructure.

“Any objection that a resident would have should be done in terms of the City of Cape Town spatial development plan as approved in 2015,” she said.

“The City should ensure there is an aesthetics committee that attends to the overall look of the suburbs and their overall development and not merely just look at the overall densification of suburbs meeting the development plan of the City.”

The association understood developers brought growth into an area, but a line also had to be drawn somewhere.

“Residents stand to lose what they originally invested in – a quiet suburban neighbourhood in which to raise their children – and are concerned about whether or not our current infrastructure will cope, and worried about the added traffic to an area already dealing with massive traffic congestion.

“As with anything in a community there will always be conflicting viewpoints and conflicting attitudes for and against development in a given area. It is the role of the association to ensure fair and reasonable development takes place with the infrastructure to match the needs of our community,” she said.

Residents are also concerned about applications for 48 Loada Road, 84 and 86 Briza Road and 67 Hopley Road.