11 April 2019

As previously reported, the Bitou Municipal Planning Tribunal Meeting was held Wednesday, 10 April to consider the proposed “rezoning, subdivision and departures for Erf 4367, Bowtie Drive,” (between Shell Ultra-City and Santini Village).  The tribunal consisted of Ludolph Gericke (chairman), Perino Pama and Rudi Martin.  

The proposed project, in response to a council decision in 2017, is to address affordable property ownership in the middle to lower income market, in closer proximity to employment areas.  The proposal includes a high-density development of 80 units of 45/55 square meters, not much larger than RDP houses, single story, no allowance for security fencing nor landscaping, selling to potential owners earning R20,000 per month.

Over 200 objections were received from the public, mainly concerned about the design, affect on surrounding property values, proximity to vehicle emissions along N2, relaxation of building codes, lack of parking, security, relaxation of road widths, minimum erf size and building lines, and financial viability of the project.

The public was allowed to make verbal representations and the Plett Ratepayers Association was represented by Len Swimmer and Christo Vlok.  Municipal officials and Bitou’s consultant, WM de Kock Associates were on hand to answer questions.

After a thorough discussion, the Tribunal decided to refer it back with the following comments:

  • the road needs to be wider (12 meters iso 10 meters)
  • the plan needs to make provision for incorporating the adjacent erf
  • walking access from the development needs to be improved
  • open space too congested & does NOT comply with Minimum Standards – the smaller the erf, the greater the requirement of open space.
  • allow for landscaping
  • the design looks like storage units to pack in humans; it’s the gateway to Plett so needs to reflect it
  • allow for larger erfs and consider double stories
  • no deviation from by-laws will be allowed
  • need a buffer to the N2 such as a berm or landscaping & trees
  • determine the financial viability
  • the proposal should be approved by Council before being sent to the Tribunal
  • all objections from the public needs to be addressed by the consultants
  • rezoning must be approved before subdivision application
  • the feasibility proposal needs to be approved by Provincial Housing before the Tribunal considers it.

The Tribunal should be complimented on their professionalism and objectivity.

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Author: Markc