Plans for 18-storey block

An impression of what the proposed development would look like.

Fresnaye residents have until the end of the month to have their say on a proposed new 18-storey mixed-use development at 15 Kloof Street.

Some are already seeing red over the application, saying the development would not fit in with the character of the area and its size would lead to traffic congestion. The development is to have approximately 952m² of business premises and 140 residential units.

The developer, through a town planning consultancy company, Nigel Burls & Associates, has submitted an application to rezone the property from general business subzone 5 and general residential subzone 5 to general business subzone 7.

Fresnaye resident Jocelyn Ashberg, said the area was zoned GB5 to ensure that buildings stay within the 25m maximum floor height, which fits in with the surrounds.

“By allowing the change to GB7 this will allow this building to be built to a floor maximum of 60m,” she said.

Ms Ashberg said the current zoning scheme was more than lenient with its allowances for size and the application simply spoke to greed and over-development.

Ms Ashberg said: “The fact that the developers are seeking a further 41m of height indicate that they simply want to cash in on this property regardless of the enormous effects this will have on the area,” she said.

Ms Ashberg is also worried about the traffic it would cause. “A mixed-use development of this nature cannot be situated in an area where the roads are already congested. This is also situated next to a fire station and should the area become congested due to trucks, as we have seen at other developments situated within the area, this will have a direct impact on the citizens of Cape Town and the services of City’s Fire Rescue,” she said.

She said if the City were to allow this, it would pave the way for further developments of this nature.

The proposed plan has also caused a stir on social media with residents sharing their concerns. Commenting on the matter on Facebook, Mark Jackson said: “This must not be allowed. It will set a very dangerous precedent. Won’t every block in Fresnaye/Sea Point be pushing for 18 storeys? Sea Point/Fresnaye will end up looking like Hong Kong!”

The planning committee of the Sea Point Fresnaye and Bantry Bay Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association (SFB) said: “We have considered the application and have decided to object. We are in the process of preparing our objection.”

Nigel Burls & Associates’s founder, Nigel Burls, said the proposed building was consistent with other buildings in the area such as Pavillion Place and the Towers.

“Kloof Road is being improved, and we will beautify the street and balance the needs of pedestrians and cars.”

Mr Burls said it had been a long process to get to this phase. He said the history of the site called for a different kind of treatment. “This is a unique site and it deserves a special architectural treatment. With this proposal, we’re trying to be sensitive to the neighbours by pulling it back, cutting edges and going higher instead,” he said.

Touching on traffic plan and the congestion that residents were concerned about, Mr Burls said the area was growing and the impact of the development wouldn’t be anymore than what already exists. He said the best that one could hope for was for the improvement of public transport in the city.

Mr Burls’ colleague Mida Kirova, said the proposal was one of the first that allowed for the provision of inclusionary housing units. “The proposal allows for the provision of 28 inclusionary housing units, equating to 20% of the total number of residential units and the tenants in the units will have the same access and amenities to everything as other tenants.”

Objections may be submitted to before Monday October 29.