Sub-council 16 has unanimously approved the proposed leasing of a portion of City land in Beta Road, Bakoven, for parking.
The land will be leased to the National Sea Rescue Institute of South Africa (NSRI) which applied to use the space for staff to park their cars in the event of a callout.
With the increased popularity of Bakoven and Beta beaches, they said, there was not enough parking space available and sea rescue personnel often had to park far away which added more time to the callouts, when a minute could mean the difference between saving a life or not.
The sub-council invited both the applicant and objector, Robbie Brink, to air their views on the matter. Mr Brink argued that residents had parked in the lane for more than 20 years and were now being prevented from doing so, so that NSRI staff could park there. By parking there, he said, residents had freed up parking bays for those who frequent the area but struggled to find parking. He added that the residents paid exorbitant rates to the City, so they should be allowed to use the open space in a manner which did not affect others and made it easier for beachgoers to find parking.
He said while they appreciated the important work done by the NSRI, the residents would have allowed the rescue personnel to park in their driveways and they wondered why the NSRI didn’t ask the residents about the solution because they would be able to park more cars than the few that they could now park in the space in question.
The NSRI said they had been transparent with respect to the application and had approached the bungalow owners’ association to hear members’ views, not realising that some of the residents were not members. They said they had also consulted two adjacent property owners who needed clarification and they assured them of their support if they allowed thoroughfare, accommodated access for deliveries and kept noise level low and used the parking for the intended purpose.
NSRI CEO, Dr Cleeve Robertson said: “We have been and continue to be willing to accommodate alternative proposals with the City and concerned residents to ensure that we’re able to continue to provide this essential service in cooperation with local residents as has been for over 50 years.”
The item was deferred to allow an on-site inspection last week where representatives of the Roads Department were invited to the on-site inspection.
Ward councillor 54, Nicola Jowell said after the on-site, a special sub-council meeting was held where the item was approved with conditions.