Housing project on track

A R200 million social housing project, in the form of a five-storey block of flats, is on the cards for Goodwood.

The development near the Goodwood train station will include shops and have 1 080 two-bedroom and one-bedroom flats aimed at middle-income earners.

Fezile Calana, the general manager of DCI Community Housing Services, said the project started in 2010 and developers planned to be on site by November to break ground early next year.

DCI, he said, was a non-profit company started in 2012 and accredited by the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA) .

“We first need to build a wall separating the development from the train station and that will roughly take a month. Phase 1 of the project will entail building the residential component which will take 18 months; phase two will comprise the retail aspect of the development which we aim to complete between 2020 and 2021,” he said.

The 5135 m2 retail component would resemble a “small suburban shopping centre”.

Mr Calana, along with architect Neil Basson and town planner and project co-ordinator Andre Wiehahn, presented the project to Sub-council 4 last Friday, August 18.

Mr Calana said the project had its origins in a national programme to develop station precincts, which the City of Cape Town had been part of.

Various parcels of railway land had gone out to tender, and the DCI bid for the Goodwood site had been successful.

The company had raised money for the project through the National Housing Finance Corporation (NHFC) with subsidies allocated by the SHRA.

Locating the project near the train station meant it dovetailed with City’s spatial planning strategies and transit-oriented development, Mr Calana said.

The planning application had been approved and concluded on Tuesday April 25.

“This relates to the zoning rights of the property to support the proposed mixed use development. Contained within this approval are various conditions, and a specific requirement is that a site development plan be submitted to City of Cape Town’s Transport and Development Authority (TDA).”

The site development plan would need to submitted to Metrorail first, however, because of the project’s proximity to the train station.

Mr Wiehahn said the project was considered a medium- to high-density development and the land had undergone a “full rezoning process”.

Last year, the City said the planning application for the Goodwood project had been submitted in January last year and advertised for public comment in May of that year.

It included an application to sub-divide the railway land and rezone it from transport to residential use (“Questions over Prasa housing contract,” Northern News, November 16, 2016).

At the time, Thami Hlongwane, from Intersite – the property arm of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) – said the public participation process, which ended in June 2015, had been successful and that the “public supports the initiative” because of the big demand for housing in the area.

Brian Lawson, chairman of the Goodwood Ratepayers’ Association, told Northern News this week that he saw all new developments in the area as positive.

“I expect a strong reaction from residents, but I am sure that they will look at the pros and cons of the development before reacting. I also see positive spin-offs for the surrounding community as a direct result of the proposed development,” he said.

Ward 27 councillor Cecile Janse van Rensburg said she welcomed any development that was legal and complied with City policy.

“It will, no doubt, bring relief as it will give housing opportunities to the beneficiaries,” she said.