Land use applications and planning, cell masts discussed at AGM

Land use applications and planning, cell masts and social issues on the beachfront were among the matters discussed at this year’s annual general meeting of the Camps Bay Clifton Ratepayers’ Association (CBCRA)

The meeting was held at Rotunda Hotel on Monday November 23.

Residents wanted to know why the City’s Municipal Planning Tribunal continued to approve development plans without taking the opinions of the residents into consideration. “The City is turning a blind eye to residents’ objections. What’s happening with all these developers has to stop,” said one resident.

Ward 54 councillor, Nicola Jowell said she understood the sentiments and aimed to properly represent residents’ concerns.

Touching on some of the development plans, CBCRA chairman Chris Willemse said an application for a 101-room hotel at the Place on the Bay site, to which there had been 76 individual objections, had been approved by the Municipal Planning Tribunal.

He said their call to the community to help oppose this application had been well supported and they had collected more than R80 000 in donations.

“Currently, we have an extremely well-prepared appeal against this decision before the mayor and, judging by the time that the City is taking to respond and place it on the Appeal Panel’s agenda, there must be something about which it is very concerned,” he said.

He added that they were researching the history of all applications to detail what he described as “the arbitrary nature of the MPT’s actions”.

“If the City shows no interest in this undermining of our property rights, we will consider a legal challenge,” he said.

On the matter of cell masts, Mr Willemse highlighted the Marine Heights block in Upper Tree Road, noting that the ratepayers association had been making representations to the planning authorities for years now, without success. He said they’d advised affected neighbours to take the matter to court and a case has now been brought before the Western Cape High Court by an affected neighbour to have the illegal equipment removed. “The application should be heard in February 2021,” he said.

On the matter of property valuations, the meeting unanimously agreed that CBCRA partner with the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance (GCTCA) to unpack what they said appeared to be a very skewed system, that was not in favour of owners of property along the Atlantic Seaboard.