Winchester expansion one step closer

Winchester Mansions on Beach Road, Sea Point

The extension of the Winchester Mansions on Beach Road, Sea Point, could be on the cards.

This follows the Municipal Planning Tribunal’s approval of the application for the deletion of title deeds restrictions and approval of departures of erven 689 and 690.

The application was for the title deed condition to be deleted in order to regularise the use of erf 689 which at the moment doesn’t allow the property to be used for a hotel.

The applicant, Tommy Brummer Town Planners on behalf of Winchester Mansions hotel, stated that they plan to extend the hotel, adding four floors consisting of 28 guest rooms above the parking garage with a pool and a terrace on the top level. Currently zoned, GR5, the land in question is currently being used as a parking area and pool for the hotel.

The applicant stated that the new addition will be inter-leading with the existing one.

The parking level on the ground floor will extend into the basement in which 36 parking bays are provided.

Residents objected to this application stating that they had insufficient street parking to serve the residents and the development would cause traffic congestion and have a negative impact on the character of the area. Some raised concerns over construction nuisance.

Representing some neighbours, Lynette Finlay, stated: “I would like to object on the grounds that it will have impact on the sea views and the view of the promenade that the apartments currently have. This will have a negative impact on the property values of these apartments.

“The increased noise, dust and disruption during construction will be untenable to people living in the area.”

Another resident, Margaret Rosalind said they were concerned that the approval for the demolition of the laundry along with the development plans to drill down for basement parking will indirectly affect the structural integrity of both the Winchester mansions and the Arcadia building.

The applicants argued that the proposed development was designed specifically not to compete with the gracious Winchester Mansions hotel. They stated: “The rooms overlooking the street are designed to promote a more active interface with the street. This also mitigates negative shadowing and privacy impacts to the neighbouring properties and will maintain residential amenity.”

They stated that the development was a good example of infill development where existing undeveloped and underused land is used for appropriate development.

On the issue of heritage impact, the applicant stated that the existing Winchester Mansions and Arcadia buildings which are older than 60 years would be retained and only the laundry room would be demolished.