Private school plan upset

PICTURES: LEE NORMAN

She says the entrance to the school is about 50 metres away from her driveway and she is concerned about traffic congestion as many parents dropping their children off at school would use her driveway to make a U-turn as it is too far for them to drive up the road and make a U-turn in the cul-de-sac.

She also feels that making a * -turn on the blind rise at the cul-de-sac is an “accident waiting to happen”.

Other concerns include the lack of parking space in Valley Road.

“Where will all the cars park during events at the school?” she asked.

Richard Timms from the Hout Bay Environment Conservation Group (ECG), an umbrella organisation made up of six Hout Bay community organisations, says the water in the river was tested and found to be unsuitable for swimming even at the top of the Valley due to the old septic tanks located in Longkloof.

His concerns are that this may result in the school fencing off the public open space thereby preventing free movement of wildlife and residents as the school is located right up to the 30-metre boundary line from the Disa River.

He says should the area be rezoned to a community 1 zone, it will not only allow for schools, and churches but with consent, hospitals, cell towers and other similar buildings which is of great concern for the environment.

However, landowner, Trevor McLean-Anderson disagrees with residents, saying he has been honest with them from the start and has made his intentions clear.

He says an independent traffic survey indicated that Valley Road is able to handle the increased traffic as the school will operate from 9am to 2pm, outside rush hour traffic.

Furthermore, the school will have an enter/exit system and will provide parking for 25 cars.

He says the neighbours were individually approached and were aware of the fact that the stables could later be turned into a school.

“The Hout Bay Academy which currently operates from the top floor of the medical centre will be a great value add to the area and will not only improve security during the daytime but will also increase property values,” he said.

Mr McLean-Anderson who is also the landowner and developer of the My Montessori Primary School, situated on the Main Road between Elmtree Close and Disa River Road, says schooling is his passion.

He says there is a great need in Hout Bay for an affordable private high school for children who don’t want to be in a mainstream environment.

He confirmed the original plan handed to the City was for stables and that he has requested the area to be rezoned.

“If my application is denied by the City, I will accept it and the building will be used for stables,” he said.

Mayoral committee member for energy, environmental and spatial planning, Johan van der Merwe said the City’s planning and building development management department is processing an application for a rezoning of the property from rural to community zone 1 and the application is currently being advertised in the media as well as an on-site notice.

He said affected property owners will also be notified via registered mail and all the concerns raised by property owners will be taken into account before making a decision.

Mr Van der Merwe said Mr McLean-Anderson has supplied the City with various documents including detailed plans of what is proposed and a comprehensive motivation.

“These documents are available to all parties during the public participation process at the local district planning office,” he said.