07 Jul 2010
Gordon’s Bay’s Marcus Smit architectural firm is incensed that the Gordon’s Bay Village Action Group (GBVAG) intends to press on with an objection against an appeal for permission to deviate from zoning scheme regulations for renovations to a residential property, 53 Watt Street.
The proposed project would involve the addition of a new garage next to an existing one, a new first storey above the ground floor, and a relaxation of the front boundary line from 4,5 m to 0 m. The application was approved by both the municipality and sub-council but, due to the objection by GBVAG, must now go through provincial government.
The firm has described the opposition to the development as “unfair, uninformed and unjustified”, and is exasperated at the prospect of a lengthy waiting period after which they are convinced permission will be granted.
“An application like this should technically be finalised within three months. It is our opinion that the City of Cape Town should allow its regional officials to decide such applications. Instead, this specific application has been dragging on for five counter-productive months already, and final outcome is only expected in 12 to 18 months from now,” said Bennu Smit, draughtsman at Marcus Smit Architects. He said the proposal was sensitive to its surroundings, worked with the existing footprint, and that the house was of “no cultural or historical significance”.
But the GBVAG insists that it is their mandate to act as a watchdog against development that contravenes building regulations and that they are simply fulfilling their appointed task within the parameters of zoning schemes.
Barbara Louw, founder of the GBVAG, said the “very strict” regulations had to be upheld because the character of the village was at stake, having already been compromised by other developments.
“There are so many places where developers have come in and turned it upside down. This town must be serious and active about our heritage – it is our biggest asset. We are desperately trying to retain that heritage. We are terribly concerned,” said Louw. – West Cape News
Readers' Comments Have a comment about this article? Email us now.
If you are using Internet Explorer 8 or higher, please verify that your Internet Explorer compatibility view settings are not enabled.
For the best browsing experience, update to the latest Version of Internet Explorer or try out Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
Please contact our Property24 Support Team for further assistance. Tel. +27 (0)861 111 724