Public land pockets to be sold for private use

De Wet Road, Bantry Bay

The proposed closure of a portion of public street situated off De Wet Road in Bantry Bay was approved at a mayoral committee meeting last month.

The applicant is the owner of Erf 743 and he intends to buy this land in extent measuring approximately 219 m2 for access and parking purposes. The application was circulated in different developments and a few objections were raised.

The spatial planning and urban design development stated that if the driveway is disposed of, the public access and potential for pedestrian movement will be blocked. The environment and heritage management stated that they could only support the application if a smaller portion of the land was disposed of.

Some neighbours, who believe that the public participation process was flawed, also objected to the application.

In an email to the director of planning and building development management in 2016, a resident, John Moss, stated: “Neither a registered letter nor any other form of official notification was issued to us; the first we became aware of the proposal is today August 22 (the closing day) by means of a letter drop in our post box.

“This is wholly unacceptable as it does not offer us any time to formulate a proper response. Why were we, as directly abutting and affected neighbours, not officially and timeously informed by means of a registered letter which is the normal and standard way in which land use application is advertised?”

Some were concerned that there may be a requirement in the future to increase the public space at the end of the road. They wanted the preservation of the view from the road to be maintained.

It was recommended that the market-related compensation in the amount of R3 250 000 would be accrued to the City.

Meanwhile, Sub-council 16 approved the sale of the portion (approximately 4 m2) of the land on Erf 460 in Bantry Bay situated on Kloof Street on January 21.

The application was submitted by the owners of Erf 34 to buy this portion and regularise the guard house that was built on the property but also a piece of the public passageway. The piece of land was fenced for years and the applicants were under the impression that it was part of the property.

The piece of land is currently vacant and the applicant intends to use it for gardening purposes as well as for safety and security purposes. It is being sold for the amount of R68 000.

Bantry Bay falls under Ward 54 which currently has no ward councillor. (‘Ward 54 to vote for councillor” Atlantic Sun, January 31). However, Ward 77 councillor Brandon Golding said the City could do with the cash. “This is a non-issue, and this is a 4 m2 worth R68 000 to the City. I recommend we get more of these because we could do with the cash,” he said.