Public support for heritage protection

An artisits impression of the proposed development

Nearly 2 300 comments were submitted as part of the public participation process for the proposed heritage protection overlay zone (HPOZ) for the Bo-Kaap.

Most of the comments were in support of the HPOZ.

Residents had a chance to comment from January 18 until February 22.

“The fact that so many residents and interested parties participated confirms that our residents want to be part of decision-making processes,” said mayor Dan Plato.

A report on the outcome of the public participation process will come before Sub-council 16 and the mayoral committee in due course, the City of Cape Town said in a statement.

It is expected that the report will also serve before council at its next meeting on Thursday March 28.

The HPOZ for the Bo-Kaap will only become effective should council accept the report and agree with the proposal.

The City’s mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, Marian Nieuwoudt, said they received 2 298 comments of which 2 271 were in support of the proposed HPOZ.

“The officials are still busy assessing the submissions, but I can confirm that at least 640 of the comments in support of the proposal were submitted by residents and affected parties from within the Bo-Kaap itself,” she said

The proposed HPOZ for the Bo-Kaap extends to the Table Mountain National Park and includes the northern green verges to the north-west of Strand Street as well as Buitengracht Street, between the intersections with Carisbrook and Strand streets.

“I’m heartened by the number of residents and interested parties who commented on this proposal that the City manages development in the Bo-Kaap in a sustainable and considered manner to protect the area’s unique heritage. The participation period included a sector hearing on February 9 that was well attended by 23 representatives from community-based organisations and another 11 from industry (“Heritage hearings underway,” Atlantic Sun, February 14).

“I want to thank residents and the community-based organisations, as well as industry, for taking the time to participate in this process and for their valuable contributions,” said Ms Nieuwoudt.

The proposed HPOZ will have an impact on all of those who own property in the Bo-Kaap in particular, as it relates to new developments, restorations, and the maintenance and alteration of properties.

All property within the City has a base zoning that determines what the land can be used for and how the land may be developed.

An HPOZ sets additional development rules over and above the provisions of a base zoning. Thus, development applications for properties within an HPOZ are assessed more critically, with additional focus on the impact that the development proposal will have on the heritage value of the building, site and the area.

Over 600 privately owned properties in the Bo-Kaap will be affected by the proposed HPOZ. The main purpose of an HPOZ is to prevent inappropriate development and alterations within an area of significant heritage value.

The HPOZ also allows the City to impose conditions to the approval to ensure that the heritage value of the building or site is protected or enhanced.