New development for Bo-Kaap

Another development in Bo-Kaap has been approved.

Lion Street in Bo-Kaap will have a new development.

This as the Municipal Planning Tribunal approved an application from a developer through town planner, Andrew Pratt Town Planning, for rezoning and permanent departures to allow for the erection of a new small block of flats on 37 Lion Street.

The current property is unoccupied and the proposed application states that the design of the block of flats mimics the historic built form in the area, although in a modern way. It is currently zoned from General Residential 4 (GR4) and it’s proposed to rezone it to (GR5).

The applicant motivated that the Bo-Kaap has “urban village” character consisting of a mix of mainly single and double-storey historic cottages and some more modern buildings. “Given the character of the area, it is clear that the development of the subject property with a new multi-storied small block of flats will not have a negative impact on the character of the area from a built form perspective,” they stated.

The developer said the proposed development would have a positive economic and social impact. They said the scale of capital investment to the current proposal appears minor, but when considering the possible future knock-on effect on property values, the proposal will have a positive impact on the area and surrounding properties.

Affected neighbours and the Bo-Kaap Civic Ratepayers’ Association(BKCRA) objected to the proposed development, saying it would be an eyesore and tower the small houses on Lion Street and the surrounding area.

Mogamat Junald van der Schyff said:”The proposed development will affect me personally and the value of my property. It creates a further precedent for even more insensitive and inappropriate buildings in the area.”

He added that development would block out sunlight and reduce his capacity to use solar energy and ability to grow a garden.

Another neighbour, Colleen Anderson, raised concerns about damage that would be caused by the development.

“The proposed development would cause serious damage to the walls of my house, especially as there is a large amount of bedrock on that property which will require extensive drilling for the foundations,” she said.

Commenting on the approval of this, the BKCRA said they were aware that the application was approved with conditions around design.

“We have argued the impact on the living heritage of Bo-Kaap and the gentrification of our community. These were noted but it was said that gentrification and the impact is not a planning issue.

As for the conditions placed on the approved plans we hope that they will be adhered to because it talks to some of the other concerns voiced in our objections.

“It’s another building in a street that already has a massive 10-storey building that overshadows Lion Street. It’s unfortunate that when decision-makers approve building plans they do them in isolation and don’t look at the overall collective negative impact it has on Bo-Kaap and our living heritage,” they said.