Plans get green light despite concerns

A building plan for Llandudno was approved last year by the City of Cape Town, which left some residents feeling uneasy, leading to a petition being drawn up. But the council felt that the application was in order and subsequently approved the plans.

A multi-storey development proposed for Llandudno might have received the green light from the City of Cape Town, but not without raising a few eyebrows among locals.

The property is zoned as a single residential and plans for the site were approved in April last year.
The plans proposes a new multi-storey building, along with a second building, a pool and boundary walls.
Residents’ main concerns at the time were the scale and height of the proposed development.
Kiki Loubser from the Llandudno Civic Association said while they understood the proposed building technically complied with the zoning scheme and building regulations, they still had some lingering concerns.
“Due to the plot size, there is a zero metre lateral set back line. This has the potential of destroying what is known as view corridors,” she said.
Ms Loubser said residents were advised that Llandudno fell outside the areas earmarked for densification by the City.

“We intend to meet with the relevant City officials to see how the existing character of Llandudno as a low density residential suburb can be maintained,” said Ms Loubser.

The City, however, struggled to understand why residents were drawing up petitions when the plans had already been approved last year.

The City’s mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, Marian Nieuwoudt, said the building plans were assessed by the City’s development management department and was in line with the Municipal Planning By-law as well as other legislation.

“Thus, the plan is fully compliant with the development rights of this site, and as such, the City had no reason not to approve the plan,” she said.

Ms Nieuwoudt said the plan had been circulated to City departments responsible for services such as water, waste, sanitation, transport and electricity. and said: “These directorates confirmed there was no objection to the proposed building plan.”

A case officer had also been appointed to the application, who conducted a site visit to evaluate the property set to be developed, the building project and surrounding area.

“It was established that the majority of the surrounding properties have already been developed, with multi-storey and double-storey buildings being prevalent in the area,” Ms Nieuwoudt said.

The City was well aware that residents had made contact with their local councillor via emails and the City had replied to the mails and also invited residents last year to view the plans at the local district offices in Plumstead.

Despite the residents having drawn up a petition with over 1 000 signatures, it seems there is nothing much they can do to stop the development from going ahead, other than applying for a review application at the Western Cape High Court.

Despite the petition, when the Sentinel attempted to gain comment from the surrounding neighbours, they chose to remain quiet, alluding to the fact that there was not much that could happen seeing that the application already received the nod.

Llandudno is regarded as one of Cape Town’s most naturally diverse beach suburbs, surrounded by large granite boulders overlooking the mountains and a range of biodiversity, which residents believed could also be affected.

However, the City played down concerns that the proposed development would impact the environment or surrounding properties.

“The City found that the proposed building is to be erected in such a manner or will be of such a nature or appearance that the area in which it is to be erected will not be negatively affected, furthermore, that the proposed building will not be unsightly or objectionable or derogate from the value of the surrounding properties,” Ms Nieuwoudt said.

The building plan approval is valid for one year, which means the owners must complete the building work within this period or face having to apply to extend this period. These plans are now available for viewing via the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) as the building plan has already been approved and no land use applications were required.

The City provided the following reasons in response to residents’ concerns around how the development could end up impacting the environment:

The construction methods and materials used for the constructions are conventional and are in keeping with the existing developments in the area.

The building work is proposed within the development rights of this property.

The necessary structural systems of the proposed building work were designed by a registered competent professional who was appointed to take full responsibility for the structural stability of all proposed structures.

“As such, and in terms of Section 6 of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, No 103 of 1977, the City approved the building plan,” Ms Nieuwoudt said.