People’s Post
By tauriq.hassen
27 March 2012

AN EXTENSION is on the cards for the application to develop a single storey shopping mall on princess Vlei, much to the dissatisfaction of local residents.

The development sparked major concerns amongst residents, nature conservationists, local organisations and residents’ associations throughout the area.

People’s Post last reported on the developments around the vlei, (“‘No’ to mall in Princess Vlei”, 18 October 2011), which saw the City of Cape Town concluding the fate of a 14-year-old development saga.

In the most recent report, the Spatial Planning, Environment and Land Use Management Committee (SPELUM) met with officials to cast votes on the controversial development. The decision was unanimously against the development of a mall on the banks of the vlei.

The proposed development first came to the fore in 1998, when Insight made an unsolicited bid to develop the land. A direct sale was approved by the then executive councillor of Economic Development and Tourism in May 2002.

The sale was subject to certain conditions, including a public participation process, a rezoning application and an environmental impact assessment. It was also subject to agreement to the conditions of sale and purchase price.

According to Phillip Bam, chairperson for the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance, the applicant had appealed against the period of time given for the rezoning application.

“The matter was then addressed by the MEC, who granted the extension after it was discovered that the applicant’s first zoning period had already lapsed,” says Bam.

“People still don’t want this mall and we are in full support of this idea. When the sale of the land comes into discussion, a public participation period must take place and we have already made it clear, we don’t want to sell the land and we don’t want a shopping mall,” says the convincing Bam.

He further added that on Friday, the City of Cape Town was due to submit conditions for rezoning, which would have to be forwarded to the provincial department, where a decision is to be taken on 24 April.

Councillor Christo Kannenberg, chairperson for the Environment and Land Use Management (SPELUM) Committee for the City of Cape Town, explained that the Provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA and DP) upheld a time frame appeal submitted by Insight Property Developers and granted an extension to the validity of the 2008 rezoning approval for the land on which the proposed shopping centre adjacent to Princess Vlei is located.

“The validity of the rezoning has been extended for a five year period, from 15 February,” Kannenberg confirmed.

He further added that council has been given the opportunity to review the 2008 Conditions of Approval and to provide revised conditions of rezoning approval to the Provincial DEA and DP. They will have 60 days to respond, which started on 1 March and ends on 30 April.

“Once the zoning/land use rights are finalised and the conditions are in place, the actual sale of the land needs to be conducted,” Kannenberg concluded.

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