Plan for seven-storey block of flats approved

Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

The Municipal Planning Tribunal (MPT) has approved an application for a development in Braemer Road, Green Point.

The proposed development is to consolidate the three erven to develop the property into a seven-storey block of flats with 51 apartments which consist of 20 one-bedroom units, 29 two-bedroom units, and two three-bedroom units and a total of 76 parking bays located in a basement level.

The new building will face Braemar Road and form part of a strip of high-density developments along Main and Somerset roads, Green Point. The proposed site – covering 4, 6 and 8 Braemar Road – is occupied by a backpacker lodge and two houses that are more than 60 years old. Heritage Western Cape granted permission with condition that the development keeps the character of the area.

The applicant, through town-planning firm Tommy Brummer Town Planners, stated that the proposed development will fit the landscape and surrounding buildings and deleting title-conditions to permit flats won’t hurt property values in the area. Instead, the firm argues, the flats will improve the safety and security of the Braemar Estate.

They said it was unlikely that the restrictions currently add any financial value to the owners of properties within the Braemar Estate. The deletion of the restrictive conditions will allow for the development of a block of flats that is designed to respect the surrounding built environment of the area. The proposal will be in character with and be compatible with the surrounding, existing urban landscape.

The matter was out for public comment between November and December last year, where the Built Environment Committee of the Green Point Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (GPRRA), said they opposed the demolition of the three existing heritage-graded houses ( “Flat plan opposition,” Atlantic Sun, December 5, 2019.)

They said the streetscape of Braemar Road was almost exclusively single residential homes, forming part of the Braemar Estate and the title deed restrictions, originally introduced for all properties in the Braemar Estate, had, in almost all cases, been retained in the area and had ensured almost total compliance with the single residential quality.

“The developer now wishes to have the title deed restrictions deleted for these three properties to remove the restrictions on the number of dwellings permitted and the proportion of the site that can be built on. Secondly, the developer wishes to consolidate the three sites into a single erf. This step would also allow for a significantly larger development,” said Stuart Burnett of the Built Environment Committee.

The developer has applied for significant departures from the already generous GR5 zoning limits, requesting a ground coverage of 87% rather than the zoned 60%, he said.