Residents object to plan to convert flats into a hotel

Residents have until June 10 to weigh in on the proposal to convert a building to a hotel

Sea Point residents have objected to the application to convert a building, located at 2 Main Drive, Sea Point, to a hotel.

The application is to change the building plan of the block of flats to one for a 24-bedroom hotel including a hotel restaurant and a conference room.

The applicant, D&S Planning Studio, said they were proposing no additions and alterations to the existing approved building plan, other than the conversion of the use to a hotel. The land is currently zoned General Residential (GR4) use zone.

“The fact that no physical change to the approved building is proposed, the building (whether a block of flats or hotel) would comply with the underlying and approved development rights afforded to the property by the(GR4 use zone,” they said.

Touching on environmental and heritage impact, they said there wouldn’t be a change in the existing building and it would therefore have no impact on the character of the area.

They added that there were no parking bays provided on-site, as the area was a Public Transport 2 (PT2) Zone and therefore there were no parking requirements.

Despite this, the Sea Point, Fresnaye and Bantry Bay Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (SFB) raised their concerns about parking, particularly because the proposed hotel would have conferencing facilities that would attract participants from outside the area.

They said changing this to a hotel without providing any parking made no sense and that they had already been in contact with the City about changes to parking arrangements in Sea Point and beyond, for new developments.

“It is a fallacy to believe that new developments, especially ones which will be used by visitors, will rely on the very limited public transport nearby. And even if they use hailing services – they need somewhere to park and drop-off. The roads are narrow and insufficient in that area to take more on-street,” the association said.

They added that the area in which this development was situated had already been subject to considerable change in recent years which had put pressure on existing infrastructure.

“Without investment in ageing infrastructure which is being put under additional pressure with larger buildings and more people, those problems will be exacerbated in the years to come,” they said.

“When will developers wake-up and realise that their involvement in the community has to go hand-in-hand with the appropriate level of care and consideration for the people whose quality of life could be negatively impacted by their proposed commercially-driven development?”

The application can be inspected at the office of the District Manager at 2nd Floor, Media City, Corner Hertzog Boulevard and Heerengracht, Cape Town on weekdays from 8am to 2.30pm. Residents have until June 10 to submit their comments and can call the district secretary on 021 400 6444, during office hours.