Belvedere development sparks concern

The proposed plan for a four-storey building which would consist of shops and offices.

Rondebosch residents are objecting to a developer’s plans to build a four-storey office block with shops in Belvedere Road.

The City sent them letters in November outlining the proposal to rezone 33 and 35 Belvedere Road and 1 Wyndover Road to make way for the block.

The Belvedere East Civic Association (BECA), and residents from Belvedere and Wyndover roads, is opposed to the application.

Apart from the office block and shops, the developer wants to reduce parking from 49 to 32 bays and permit a 10.78m-wide carriageway crossing in Wyndover Road.

Dr Thomas Rajna, who has lived in the area since 1971, said the proposed development “does not allow for modifications to make it suitable for this neighbourhood” and “would lead to an congestion that is hardly manageable”.

He argues its height will threaten the village-like feel of the community, robbing residents of their mountain views and privacy; its parking requirements will make it harder to find parking; and its shops could hurt local trade.

A BECA community petition against the development has 35 signatures. It repeats some of Dr Rajna’s points and adds that:

The development may lead to densification, which may only benefit the developer and not the community.

The current application should be thoroughly redesigned to be a positive influence in the area

As Wyndover Road is quite narrow, a traffic assessment may be necessary to determine what the traffic flow might be like.

In a letter to the district manager for the City’s planning and building development department, the BECA’s Dr Carl Morrow writes: “A desirable development should lead to improved social, economic and physical circumstances for all parties involved.”

According to Dr Morrow, there are indigenous trees that are 50 to 60 years old in the area and it would be the responsibility of the developer to protect them.

athy Doveton fears an increase in traffic congestion “may be disruptive in what is normally a quiet area”, while Helen Timoney is worried about a loss of privacy as well there being too many cars and too little parking.

Area south Mayco member Eddie Andrews said the development was far from being a done deal. “The applicant still has to comment on the objections received from interested and affected parties,” he said.

“Once this is completed, an assessment of the application will be undertaken and a report will be sent to the Municipal Planning Tribunal for decision.”