The battle of Kommetjie

Posted On Friday, 15 July 2016 16:54 Published by
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A sea of concrete is set to engulf the pristine seaside village of Kommetjie as the City of Cape Town prepares to approve the development of 400 new homes.

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A sea of concrete is set to engulf the pristine seaside village of Kommetjie as the City of Cape Town prepares to approve the development of 400 new homes.

Council officials have advised the planning committee to approve applications for three gated housing developments and campuses for three private schools when it meets on Wednesday.

Residents' associations are planning a last-ditch attempt to stop the developments, which they say are being pushed through by the city council despite their objections.

Kommetjie Residents' and Ratepayers' Association chairman Patrick Dowling said it was raising money to take the council to court.

Dowling, also part of the Far South Peninsula Community Forum, said the developments would compound the traffic problems of the already heavily congested southern Cape Peninsula.

He said the association is concerned about the environmental impact of "speculative development".

But ward councillor Felicity Purchase said residents were more concerned about losing the rural setting that makes their village so attractive to tourists and holidaymakers.

"There is a feeling in the far south that we have to keep it as rural and to keep the village atmosphere of the unique communities.

"Having said that, we must also accept that some development is inevitable."

Purchase's major concern about the developments on undeveloped remnants of farms is that the services to support more residents are not in place.

"It is the third-most congested choke point in the city. There are also other issues, particularly around schools and opportunities to get children into schools. The schools in the far south are extremely overburdened," she said.

Residents have also raised questions about medical services such as clinics, but Purchase dismissed this, saying new residents would be upper-income people and would not necessarily use public clinics.

"There is no money in the short or medium term to build a high school in the far south," she said.

"Any kids here that are of high-school age are more than likely going to have to be taken over the mountain [to get to school].

"While the road to the far south through Kalk Bay has been undergoing extensive renovations since 2008, Ou Kaapse Weg has become the bane of tourists and residents who can spend up to two hours in peak-hour traffic to the city centre."

But Sotheby's estate agent in the area, Natalie Cooper, said developments would increase property values.

"There are a number of things happening, some aimed at the lower end of the market and others at the higher end."

source" The Times

Last modified on Friday, 15 July 2016 17:09

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