Bantry Bay proposal response

Thomas Geh, Thomas Geh Architects,
Bantry Bay

Your article “Flats get green light” (Atlantic Sun, May 16) refers.

I have read your article with great interest and I am obviously very pleased about the Municipal Planning Tribunal approval of our departure application of November 2017, although there is still a tedious appeal process to come.

Had you contacted me before writing this article, I would have made the following corrections and provided further information for a more objective article.

Erf 932 has the correct GR4 zoning and therefore apartment blocks are permitted in the area.

The permitted floor area and the building envelope depend on the erf size 565sqm and building lines.

The total floor area is 750sqm only.

Affected by the irregular shape of the plot, we could have avoided the departure had we designed a building with trapeze shape plan.

However, it was decided to design a rectangular building which encroaches the building lines at two building corners (hatched) only with a greater distance at the two other corners.

This resulted in a more rational floor plan layout without any detrimental impact, which will also help to retain the existing palm if possible.

We are therefore not building anything projecting over the footway as stated in the article.

The reference made to overbearing density has no relevance as the GR4 zoning is a right in this neighbourhood. We did not apply for a higher density than that permitted.

Some hypocritical objectors live in an eight-storey apartment block across the road making use of the existing GR4 zoning as every owner could.

The ratepayers organisation is correct that the departure results in a more rational building envelope.

The coverage or footprint of the new building is only 205sqm or 37% of permitted 50%. The existing house to be demolished has about 340sqm.

Although Victoria Road in Bantry Bay was classified a scenic drive decades ago with one meter height restriction, in reality that disappeared long ago and should not be an issue.

The ratepayers’ attitude toward developers claiming to be wanting to line their pockets with gold is ridiculous.

In our capitalistic system all are entitled to make a living and if it wasn’t for developers who would actually build apartment blocks and accommodation as required by the general public?

Atlantic Sun did not report that the applicant planned to build anything projecting over the footway, but stated that among the proposals was a departure to allow the building to project above an abutting footway along a scenic drive – as was stated in City of Cape Town documentation.