Calls to preserve Goodwood’s heritage

64 Voortrekker Road, Goodwood, used to be home to a heritage building, a corner shop where, in days of old, residents could buy fruit and vegetables

It later made way for a brake business run by the late Barnard Arendse, who rented it from a Mr Kenny.

At one point, it was a Gypsy caravan dealership. Now it has made way for the development of a four-storey building, with a tyre-fitment centre and 24 flats.

Goodwood resident Dave Beelders wants to know why a heritage building, which has now become a scarcity in the suburb, could not be protected.

“I feel they could have retained it. It was one of the last old buildings still left,” he said.

Many old landmarks, he lamented, were long gone, places such as the Liberty Bioscope in Hamilton Street, where the neighbourhood children could watch a movie for two pennies and “old Jack” walked down the aisle with a whip to keep patrons in check.

Earlier this year, Northern News reported on the partial demolition of the building at 64 Voortrekker Road without the necessary permit from Heritage Western Cape (HWC), as required by law for properties 60 years and older (“Heritage building bites the dust,” Northern News, January 20).

In January, the façade was still left, and HWC then said no application for a permit to partially demolish the building had been lodged.

When Northern News spoke to Akbar Ali Sulaiman, a member of the family which now owns the property, in January, he denied they had gone ahead with partial demolition without a permit.

“There is a permit. The heritage certificate is for the face of the building,” he said then.

Mr Beelders said the façade had been the only bit of history remaining on Voortrekker Road.

“While progress cannot be halted, there is supposed to be public participation process by Heritage Western Cape on issues such as this. It is not restricted only to the owner,” he said.

Mayco member for energy, environmental and spatial planning, Johan van der Merwe, said a new building plan, submitted in July, had been approved this month.

An earlier application from October 2015, was withdrawn following objections. Heritage Western Cape CEO Mxolisi Dlamuka said a Section 34 application had been submitted in March, which showed only a remaining wall on the front façade.

A Section 34 application was for permits to alter, add, or demolish. The HWC had supported the demolition of the colonnade, he said, “but is to be replaced with like as per plans and permit”.

Asked if 64 Voortrekker Road was not deemed conservation-worthy, he said it was “ungradable”, and did not have enough heritage significance to be retained as part of the national estate.

“That does not mean that the entire site can merely be demolished – one has to apply your mind. In this matter, the front façade of the structure was the only remaining portion of the site and was deemed to have value,” he said.

Mr Sulaiman said he was relieved the project could go ahead as getting all the permissions “took a long time”.

Northern News wanted to know how the façade would be replicated, as per the instruction of HWC.

Mr Sulaiman said their attorney and contractor had dealt with HWC and would know how it would be done. And he said the integrity of the building had been compromised before his family had bought it.

“This building was continuously altered by the previous owners,” he said.