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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

CBRRA Objection 12 Ronald Ave

The Director: Integrated Environmental Management (B2)
Dept of Environmental Affairs & Dev Planning
Provincial Government of the Western Cape 
Private Bag X9086
Cape Town
8000 
FAX:  0214833098

Dear Sir / Madam

REMOVAL OF RESTRICTIONS ACT, ACT 84 of 1967, and APPLICATION FOR DEPARTURES ito LUPO

FILE REF          LM 9033 (232488) 
APPLICANT     WILLEM BUHRMANN & ASSOCIATES
ERF                   1002
LOCATION      12 RONALD AVE
SUBURB          CAMPS BAY

The CBRRA objects to this application and is concerned that the roof starter reinforcement is already cast into the proposed back wall of the garage (currently the front wall of the house) and that the foundations for the garage have already been cast. This clearly renders this a retrospective application. It is also clear that the garage was omitted from the original planning application to circumvent the regulations at the time.

It must be borne in mind that the Western Cape High Court ruled, in the Camps Bay Ratepayers vs. RBC Sub Eleven matter (reported), that the Minister shall not remove restrictive title deed conditions if it is not in the interests of the community (Griesel, AJ, as he was then). This is clearly a case where such removal is only in the narrow interests of the developer. Other divisions of the High Court have handed down similar rulings.

The developer has shown no benefit or advantage to the community and this application must fail on this ground alone. Further, it is the minimum requirement of the LUPO that applications must be desirable. 

It must also be noted that the test for the removal of a restrictive title deed condition by the Minister is a positive one: It is not sufficient for the presumed effect to be neutral – the applicant must show a positive benefit to the community or area that will arise from such removal. In this case the applicant has failed to do so.

The WC High Court judgment (Case 6866/04, Bloubergstrand) handed down by Yekiso, J, has established that applications must conform with all applicable law before the relevant Authority can consider them. Clearly this application does not comply and as such cannot be considered until all affected parties have waived their rights to the concessions sought.
Notwithstanding the above, the CBRRA is prepared to facilitate discussions between the affected neighbouring parties and the applicant and if such discussions result in conditional, or otherwise, acceptance of the proposal, the CBRRA will withdraw this objection.
In the alternative, the CBRRA requests an interview at the appropriate Sub-council / SPELUM meeting that will convene to consider this application.

Regards

CHRIS WILLEMSE
CHAIRPERSON
CBRRA contact: Chris Willemse   Mobile 0836536363   cnwillemse@gmail.com
cc        Ms Juliet Leslie: District Manager, Table Bay District, Planning & Building Dev Management, City of Cape Town 
FAX: 021 4194694

Friday, 25 April 2014

Atlantic Sun 24 April 2014 - Land debate rolls on

Land debate rolls on

by Matthew Hirsch
published in the Atlantic 24 April 2014

The Camps Bay Ratepayers and Residents Association (CBRRA) have encouraged the Camps Bay Preparatory School and the Bowling Club to go back to the negotiating table to find a solution that benefits both parties.

The CBRRA said it has been attempting to broker a sustainable deal between the club and the school since 2011 and they believe a solution has been found. 

The school has applied for land being used by the bowling club to expand to accommodate the demand for places at the school.

"This will involve a partitioned land option, resulting in the school taking over the current parking area and a sizeable portion of the existing building structure – totalling over 1000m2, which is enough for the required classroom and play area expansion. The club will retain its two bowling greens and the current hall," said CBRRA.

The plan envisages a strong division between the two entities so to ensure compliance with all aspects of the SA Schools Act, particularly those aspects relating to liquor sales and consumption.

The current school building shares a common boundary with a building that has an on-consumption liquor licence and also houses a nightclub, so this does not set any precedent.

"The CBRRA plan accommodates both the school in its proposed expansion and the bowling club in its continued existence – creating a synergy between the young and not so young members of the community, whilst protecting the precious public open space and "green lung" that belongs to all citizens of this city," said the CBRRA.

Matthew Bater, president of the Camps Bay Bowling Club, said they were willing to negotiate and that the ratepayers' plan was not taken into account by all role-players. 

"I don't think everything has been looked at correctly. We were trying to find a solution."

He also said that the club is still well attended.

"We are not a dying club as many people have said. The last four and a half years have not made it easy but we have gained members," said Mr Bater.

He said the bowling club's first team had just been promoted into the premiership, the highest league in the province. 

"Those are not the efforts of a dying club. We have 60 competitive bowlers (excluding social bowlers) that meet two to three times a week. The club is used a lot."

Mr Bater also said activities such as karate, bridge, and ballroom dancing also took place on a regular basis. 

"Education is important but there is a balance and we can find a solution. Everything needs to be looked at including older members of the community."

He said some of the recent attacks on the club are unfair and made it more difficult to come up with an agreement.

"Why can't we (the school and the club) live together for a longer period of time? We can work with the community," said Mr Bater.

David De Korte, principal of the Camps Bay High School, said he first became involved in the negotiations four years ago.

He said a group of concerned parents took the issue up with the council.

He said they would be willing to sit down with the bowling club if they came forward with a formalised plan.  "All three principals (of the Camps Bay Schools) would have to discuss it. Come with a plan and let's talk."

He said there was a high demand for places in the school for children living in the area. "The problem is that there is no space. The demographics of the area have changed and there are a lot of young families here. Every year the Prep School has to tell parents on the waiting list they they weren't going to get a place."

Mr De Korte said it would be ideal if they could find a solution that would benefit the whole community.



Publication and Release of the Final WC Development Guidelines

Herewith the CCT Publication and Release of the Final WC Development Guidelines. Click on the link below to download the PDF.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8awRkcBY1IVMVJuSkx5b2YzbWM/edit?usp=sharing

Sent: Friday, April 25, 2014 10:11 AM
Subject: Development Parameters Guideline for the Western Cape

Good day
 
Please find attached the recently approved Development Parameters Guideline for the Western Cape and accompanying self-explanatory circular, for you to distribute more widely to your staff and colleagues.
 
Kind Regards
Allan
 
 
Allan Rhodes Pr. Pln (A/1527/2012)
Professional Town and Regional Planner
Environmental and Spatial Planning
Western Cape Government Environmental Affairs and Development Planning

Monday, 14 April 2014

CBRRA Objection Application for Departures 12 Geneva Drive

12 April 2014
The Director: Integrated Environmental Management (B2)
Dept of Environmental Affairs & Dev Planning
Provincial Government of the Western Cape
Private Bag X9086
Cape Town
8000
FAX:  0214833098

Dear Sir / Madam

REMOVAL OF RESTRICTIONS ACT, ACT 84 of 1967, and APPLICATION FOR DEPARTURES ito LUPO

FILE REF         LM 9148 (236824)
APPLICANT   THOMAS GEH ARCHITECTS
ERF                  590
LOCATION      12 GENEVA DRIVE
SUBURB          CAMPS BAY

The CBRRA strongly opposes and objects to this application.

The brief summary of the facts of this matter is that the WC High Court upheld an interim application by the community to set aside the City-approved plans for this erf in 2005 (Meer, J). After a consequent successful appeal in terms of s62 of the MSA by the community, the City withdrew its planning approval for the plans. The owner then modified the plans by omitting certain of the illegal structures in an attempt to evade the restrictive title deed conditions – thus rendering the building built in accordance therewith effectively unusable and unworkable. For example, by removing the entrance stairs thereto, anyone accessing the front door would have to jump down over a metre from the street level to the entrance level! In addition, the originally proposed swimming pool and raised ground levels between what were originally illegal site boundary structural retaining walls and the house structure were omitted at that stage to achieve City approval.

The City, extraordinarily, approved these “dummy” plans.

Thereafter followed years of protracted litigation, which ultimately led to the validity of the planning approval being upheld (but without the conveniently omitted items mentioned above), although the SCA found that the building did contravene s47 of the (then) CT Zoning Scheme.

The developer then applied to the WC High Court to have the restrictive title deed conditions, which are the subject of this application, expunged from her deed, based purely on the prior litigation. The Court rejected this application in 2013 (Rogers, J).

The developer has now applied to the relevant authorities to condone this incremental and deceptive planning process that she visited on the Camps Bay community and require the Authorities, with the stroke of a pen, to expunge the praedial rights enjoyed by the community and enshrined in their title deeds. The Courts are extremely reluctant to deprive people of their praedial rights and will only do so in exceptional circumstances and where it is established beyond reasonable doubt that this is in the public interest and for the benefit of the township. These praedial rights are in favour of all property owners in the township and the Roger's judgement emphasizes this.

It must be borne in mind that the Western Cape High Court ruled, in the Camps Bay Ratepayers vs. RBC Sub Eleven matter (reported), that the Minister shall not remove restrictive title deed conditions if it is not in the interests of the community (Griesel, AJ, as he was then). This is clearly a case where such removal is only in the narrow financial interests of the developer. Other divisions of the High Court have handed down similar rulings.

The developer has shown no benefit or advantage to the community and this application must fail on this ground alone. Further, it is the minimum requirement of the LUPO that applications must be desirable. The fact that the Camps Bay community has opposed this inappropriate development for such length of time and so strenuously, clearly shows the undesirability of the proposal in the public mind.

The fact that this proposed structure does not fit on the property and therefore requires so many departures and removals evidences the inappropriateness of the design. This is simply a means to enable the developer to over-develop for profit at the expense of the community, which, also, has been held by the Western Cape High Court to be sufficient reason for the Authorities to refuse planning permission.
It must also be noted that the test for the removal of a restrictive title deed condition by the Minister is a positive one: It is not sufficient for the presumed effect to be neutral – the applicant must show a positive benefit to the community or area that will arise from such removal. In this case the applicant has failed to do so and, as such, the application must fail.

The WC High Court judgment (Case 6866/04, Bloubergstrand) handed down by Yekiso, J, has established that applications must conform with all applicable law before the relevant Authority can consider them. Clearly this application does not comply and as such cannot be considered until all affected parties have waived their rights to the concessions sought, given that it is effectively an as-built situation.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (in the True Motives vs. Mahdi case # 543/07) has also added that such a proposal must be considered ito s7 of the National Building Regulations and Standards Act, when the application does not conform to all applicable law. In this specific instance, the building will derogate from the value of affected neighbours’ properties if the departures and removal/amendment of restrictions are granted and therefore planning permission must be denied. The derogation from value of a neighbouring property has been incontrovertibly established by an experienced, respected sworn valuer (see attached affidavit deposed to by Mr JP van der Spuy).  Although it will no doubt be argued that the building already exists, many of the currently applied for elements have already been illegally constructed, such as the retaining boundary walls -or at least the building is dependent on this application being successful. Further, this over-bulked building has no place at the entrance to the largely conserved, historic village area of Camps Bay and the built fabric of the area will be compromised.

Should the Authorities approve this cynical application, it will be setting a very dangerous precedent that will be eagerly copied by other developers, thus causing untold damage to this extremely beautiful suburb, which really needs protection from such abuses. It is the Province-, City- and CBRRA's duty to protect the built environment from being damaged in such a manner, particularly when in contravention of the law and praedial rights.

In summary, this application is not sensitive to the surrounding area and, due to the many non-complying aspects and illegalities, must be rejected by the Authorities.

CBRRA requests an interview at the appropriate Sub-council / SPELUM meeting that will convene to consider this application.

Regards

CHRIS WILLEMSE
CHAIRPERSON
CBRRA contact: Chris Willemse   Mobile 0836536363   cnwillemse@gmail.com
cc        
Ms Joy San Giorgio: District Manager, Table Bay District, Planning & Building Dev Management, City of Cape Town
FAX: 021 4194694