Flats not wanted

Bosonia residents fear a planned block of flats in the area will increase crime and hurt property values.

Ten people sent objection letters to the City of Cape Town, but on Tuesday September 12 the Municipal Planning Tribunal voted unanimously in favour of rezoning a plot to make way for the flats.

Magrieta Oosthuizen, was one of the objectors. She said she was worried the flats would draw “dangerous” types of people and drive up crime.

The flats are planned for a vacant, “underutilised” piece of ground in Komo Street.

Municipal case officer Jaques Loots said in his notes that the plot was a “relatively large, single residential site” which was “vacant and in a neglected state”.

The block will have 15 two- and one-bedroomed flats and be 9m high.

Residents, some of whom have lived in the area for more than 40 years, and ward councillor Johanna Martlow were first notified about the planned rezoning in March.

Objectors said the block could cause traffic problems, infringe on residents’ privacy because of its height and strain municipal infrastructure.

But the applicants, John and Berlise Lourens, argued the development would improve safety and security increase property values by making use of a neglected piece of ground.

“The objectors’ statement that the higher density development will result in a higher crime rate is unfounded, as an increased density will improve natural surveillance,” the response said.

With regards to traffic it said: “As confirmed by the City’s transport engineer, the on-site parking provision and external road capacity is sufficient to accommodate the proposed development”.

The applicants said the property would be only 1m higher than some of the surrounding properties.

“The proposed development is compatible with the surrounding residential character where double-storey buildings of up to 8m in height are possible,” Mr Loots notes said.

Reports from the City’s various departments also said the municipal services had sufficient capacity to accommodate the development.

The tribunal stipulated only one condition on it’s unanimous approval: “The applicant is required to include development measures to improve energy efficiency to reduce the consumption of electricity.”