Residents object to development

The old Conradie Hospital in Pinelands could become the new site for a housing project.

Four residents’ associations have joined forces to block a plan to build affordable housing for thousands at the old Conradie Hospital site in Pinelands.

The provincial government hopes to break ground on the project in 2018.

The development of the 22ha site, upon its expected completion in 2024, would house nearly 11 000 residents, nearly half of them falling in the affordable housing bracket.

This market is defined as households earning between R3 500 and R25 000 a month.

While the provincial government says the multi-million rand development – a partnership between it, the City of Cape Town and the private sector – will create much-needed affordable housing closer to the city, the residents’ groups are not happy about the development proposal, at least as it is in its current form.

Representatives from the Pinelands Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association, the Kensington-Facreton Ratepayers’ Association, the Thornton Ratepayers’ Association and the Maitland Ratepayers’ Association have formally objected to a rezoning proposal that would help to clear the way for the development.

Speaking on behalf of all four groups, Carol Clarke, the secretary for the Pinelands association, said several aspects of the development worry them. They want the 3606 proposed units reduced to 2500; proposed nine-storey building heights limited to four storeys, minimum unit sizes of not less than 50m2, the parking bay ratio increased from 0.5 to 1 bay per unit; the scrapping of a proposal for liquor off-sales and the retention of all mature trees along with a detailed landscaping plan of current trees and proposed plants.

Ms Clarke said development had been promoted as an “exemplar project” that if successful could pave the way for replication, so the associations felt their objections and proposals

“will add to the success of this project and a better ‘healthier’ model to replicate”.

The Department of Human Settlements said 49 % of the more than 3000 units would be allocated to grant-funded housing, including social housing, Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) housing and rent-to-buy housing units. The rest would sold on the open market.

Department of Transport and Public Works spokesman Byron la Hoe, said the public participation process closed on Monday June 5.

“Provincial government will duly consider all objections in terms of the process and respond accordingly,” he said.

BLOB A summary of the project has been included with the amended rezoning application available from the City or through the provincial goverment’s Better Living Model website,https://www.westerncape.gov.za/betterlivingmodel/