CIDC’s state of Claremont report

Claremont Improvement District Company (CICD) chairman, David Stoll speaks on the state of Claremont.

The Claremont Improvement District Company (CIDC) is pushing for development of the Werdmuller building which it says is a blight on the area.

The issue was raised in a “state of Claremont” report at the CIDC’s annual general meeting in Newlands on Thursday November 9.

“Several new property developments are in the planning stage.There are new property development for Werdmuller centre, which are tied up with heritage issues at the moment,” said CIDC chairman, David Stoll.

“Hopefully common sense will prevail on what’s currently an eyesore on our landscape which should not be allowed to flourish.

“Werdmuller really is a blight on our landscape; it’s been like it has been for the last 10 years, and I can’t understand why heritage should be holding it up any longer.”

Mr Stoll said other properties being developed in the area included the old Shoprite building on Claremont Main Road, which is being turned into retail space and student apartments.

The development of a 6 000 square metre office building next to Mont Clare Place is also on the cards as well as the proposal to build 324 flats in Thicket Street.

While developments in Claremont have drawn objections from residents, Mr Stoll welcomed them, saying they showed the the area was popular and considered safe and clean.

Also during the AGM, the CIDC flagged an increase in accidents on Main Road over the past year.

“Whenever an accident happens we record it and the accident map gives us an interesting way of seeing Claremont in terms of safety for pedestrians,” said CIDC executive manager, Abdul Kerbelker.

“In 2016, the number of accidents in Main Road around Campground Road and Main Road at the Pick * Pay, has increased.

“There is a problem. We’re the only ones having these stats gathered from our intelligence; we need to make the City aware of this. We record everything that happens, there is a problem here and we need a solution,”

Earlier this year the CICD looked at practical aspects of street design, including giving greater priority to pedestrians.

A document compiled by Mr Kerbelker proposed to raise the road to the height of the pavements or lowering the pavement to the road to create a “shared space” where cars would be more likely to slow down “if it is less obvious where they should be”.

Making it possible for more pedestrians to use the streets would also create more opportunities for smaller retailers.