Tribunal rejects flats plan

South Africa - Cape Town - 16 March 2019 - The Green Point Lighthouse is an operational lighthouse on the South African coast. First lit on 12 April 1824, it is located on Mouille Point. The lighthouse was the first solid lighthouse structure on the South African coast and the oldest operational lighthouse in South Africa. The lighthouse was commissioned by acting Governor of the Cape Colony Sir Rufane Shaw Donkin and designed by German architect Herman Shutte. Building commenced in 1821 and was completed in 1823. The lighthouse started operating in 1824. In 1926, a foghorn was installed in the lighthouse despite a letter of complaint sent to the Mayor of Cape Town in 1923 by Green Point residents. Local Residents call the Green Point Lighthouse "Moaning Minnie". Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

The City’s Municipal Planning Tribunal (MPT) has rejected an application for a development at a property in High Level Road, Green Point.

The applicant, HeadLand Town Planners, planned to build a five-unit block of flats with a permit on the coverage of flats on the property to be 100% in lieu of 60%.

The property in question is located in a residential suburb on the lower slopes of Signal Hill.

Currently zoned GR4, it is a single-storey dwelling/ house older than 60 years. The demolition permit was issued by the Heritage Western Cape on the basis that there would not be heritage impact.

The applicant wants to develop the property with access taken off High Level Road. They motivated that although the development would generate moderate traffic, it would remain below the threshold of what is required.

Affected residents objected to this application, raising concerns about among others, the heritage value of Three Anchor Bay and Green Point.

Abutting neighbour, Mandy Ritchi, said the departures would have a negative impact on the streetscape and value of the stretch of High Level Road.

“Allowing these departures will escalate the destruction of this area and its rapid growth towards becoming an extension of the stretch of High Level Road which runs through Sea Point, which is already overpopulated and over-densified with inappropriate development in a saturated market in a declining economy.”

Ms Ritchie said these departures and development would result in the overshadowing of the neighbouring properties.

“Allowing these departures on such a small piece of land will be allowing an overbearing and intrusive development which is ill-considered, inappropriate, completely out of place and context and exceeds all legitimate expectations of the surrounding neighbours of this specific section of Three Anchor Bay and Green Point,” she said.

The Built Environment Committee (BEC) of the Green Point Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (GPRRA) also objected to the development proposal.

BEC chair, Stuart Burnett, stated: “The current climate of land use in the city creates a particular threat for the survival of generally single nature of Green Point. Developers are eager to make profit from the area and have little or no interest in the quality of the area.”

Mr Burnett said they were fully aware that times change and were not entirely against certain limited and controlled consolidation and development, provided that the character of the area and the rights of other residents are not violated.

The MPT resolved that the impact of the coverage departure is regarded as an inappropriate response to the development of the site and was not considered to be desirable.