Civic deals karate chop to dojo

This property at 93 Belvedere Road, Claremont, could soon be a karate school, if a land-use application gets City approval.

A proposal to turn a Claremont home into a karate dojo will cause traffic congestion and open the door to urban creep, says a civic group.

The public has until Tuesday July 12 to comment on the proposal, which includes a land-use application for departures from current title-deed conditions.

There is a double-storey home at the proposed site of the dojo, 93 Belvedere Road, which has split zoning of Single Residential Zone 1 (SR1) and Transport Zoning 2 (TR2). The deed permits only a dwelling on the site, limits the built-upon area and specifies certain setbacks – all of which the application seeks to amend.

An application submitted to the City by D & S Planning Studio on behalf of the owners seeks consent for a place of instruction on the premises; to permit the building of a boundary wall and gates and the provision of 10 on-site parking bays on the property.

The dojo will have up to 40 students, two classrooms and an office, according to the application.

Speaking on behalf of the owners, D & S Planning Studio’s Ben Schoeman told the Tatler that the dojo would enhance the character of the area.

The larger area along Imam Haron Road could be characterised as a mixed-use area, consisting of a mix of small and medium businesses, a mix of retail and commercial uses and blocks of flats, he said.

“Facilities such as places of worship, places of instruction, some institutions are often located in and seen as ‘ancillary’ or supportive of changing residential areas,” he said.

But the chairwoman of the Belvedere East Civic Association, Kath Kenyon, says they are unhappy with the proposed removal of the title deed conditions which could lead to the proposed karate school on the premises.

“It is clear from observation and discussion within our community that such a proposed karate school will result in additional traffic problems over and above those already in existence on Belvedere Road.”

The dojo would open the door to urban creep that would see the residential area overrun by businesses, she said.

The South African Guide-Dogs Association is next to the property, and Cheryl Robertson, a mobility instructor there, said an obstruction was already caused by the three vehicles that could usually be found parked on the pavement.

“They block the pavement for pedestrians. It is difficult to pass the vehicles and there are visually impaired people in area, people with prams and wheelchairs that cannot navigate past these cars safely.”

The 10 proposed parking bays on the premises would not be enough to cater for up to 40 students, she said.

Mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment Eddie Andrews said: “Any objections received will be forwarded to the applicant for comment, and thereafter the City’s development management department will compile a report with a recommendation to the Municipal Planning Tribunal, who will make a decision on the application.”

Comments can be sent to the Southern District office by emailing Or call 021 444 7721 for more information.

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