Another move on mansions

Plans to develop Winchester Mansions Hotel and Spa on Beach Road, Sea Point have resurfaced.

The plan to demolish a section of the Winchester Mansions to make way for development is back on the cards and residents had until this week to comment in the public participation process.

A 2015 application to demolish the Arcadia building, which is attached to the hotel and which is more than 60 years old, was denied by Heritage Western Cape (“The Legacy will continue at Winchester Mansions”, Atlantic Sun, March 10, 2016)

Tommy Brummer Town Planners submitted a new application on behalf of Winchester Mansions to demolish what serves as the laundry room of the building.

According to a consultant dealing with the application at Tommy Brummer, they’re planning to add four floors of hotel rooms while 28 rooms will be added above the parking garage with a pool and terrace on the top level.

The CEO for Heritage Western Cape, Mxolisi Dlamuka, said an application for alterations and additions had been approved in December 2017.

“I believe there is public participation under way for the total demolition of said property of which HWC has not received an application as yet,” he said.

Residents had objected to the original application, saying it was a historic building and should be preserved as a landmark in Sea Point.

A resident living across the road, Maureen Nathan said the planned development would not benefit residents or people who come to the promenade, which she said is the people’s space.

“It will be one more high-priced exclusive-for-tourists hotel and expensive drinks where most people are shut out like Camps Bay,” she said.

“Are we going to sell out? Is this the beginning of commercialising of the Beach Road,” asked Ms Nathan.

She said she was angry by the unregulated developments happening across Cape Town, from which no one benefits except the developers.

“Sea Point has completely changed and the infrastructure is not there to support the kind of development happening in Sea Point,” she said.

Ms Nathan said the road is always congested and the area is noisy and didn’t feel like a residential neighbourhood anymore.

Residents are seeking to enforce their rights by appealing the grant by Heritage Western Cap and planned to deliver substantive objections to the planning application by Monday, August 6.

The residents have appointed an attorney to deal with the delivery of the appeal, and the delivery of the objections.

Sea Point Fresnaye and Bantry Bay Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association was not available for comment.