Drilling madness

Pat Ladds, Sea Point

Reading your letters page of Atlantic Sun, it seems that many SFB property owners are upset about developments in and around our area and developers’ total disregard for damages and inconvenience imposed on the neighbours.

You may wish to visit the Winchester Mansions and run an article on the borehole drilling currently taking place in Wisbeach Road.

Recently, without any warning to surrounding residents, the borehole trucks arrived, blocking the roads and pavements and started working, crushing cement pillars, and spewing dust and cement all over the parked cars, some of which were boxed in.

OnWednesday March 21, the public holiday, they were back. Irate residents from all around started phoning the hotel to complain and eventually Law Enforcement arrived and shut down operations for the day.

Today (Thursday March 22) they are back. Still blocking the pavements, still spewing dust and once they hit water, will probably, as in the words of your writer, Therese Russell, “rain down gravel and stones onto our properties.”

Even when there is going to be a photoshoot in the vicinity, we receive prior warning of possible blockages to the surrounding roads or possible noise.

But Winchester Mansions seems to be completely disinterested in the impact on their surrounding neighbours.

In the interests of the community, I urge you to investigate this matter.

Murray Nell, Managing director of WinchesterMansions, responds.

In an effort to continue saving water and help combat Day Zero, Winchester Mansions undertook a drilling exercise for borehole water on Tuesday March 20. The drilling took place during working hours on Tuesday, halted on Wednesday due to it being a public holiday, recommenced on Thursday during working hours and concluded on Friday March 23 at 11am.

Every effort was made to ensure that the process took place as smoothly as possible in order to minimize any inconvenience experienced by the hotel’s guests and neighbouring properties.

On Monday March 19, Winchester Mansions cordoned off an area outside the hotel. This was done to make space for the borehole machinery and equipment truck, allowing it to park and operate without risking any damage to nearby cars or properties.

Printed notices were also left on the windshields of cars parked in the designated area a day prior to the commencement of drilling. No cars were damaged during the process of drilling.

As a responsible and eco-conscious citizen of the Cape Town community, our hotel is making every effort to save water.

By drilling for borehole water we aim to reduce our reliance on the municipal system, in order for us to remain operational without contributing to the ever-diminishing levels of our dams.

Tourism is extremely important to the Western Cape and needs to be maintained despite the drought.

Local entities need to become more creative and water savvy in order to encourage tourism, while making every effort to alleviate the pressure on our water supply.