Parow precinct – have your say

Parow Market is part of the precinct. Picture: KAREN WATKINS

The Parow Station Precinct could become the first in South Africa to be exempted from protections under the National Heritage Resources Act (NHRA), said Mayco Member for Spatial Planning and Environment Marian Nieuwoudt last week. 

Heritage Western Cape (HWC) has approved the City’s proposal to exempt the Parow Station Precinct from heritage protections. If implemented, this will allow owners to alter, improve and demolish buildings that are older than 60 years; and for the consolidation of three or more properties that fall within this area without going through provincial heritage processes.

The precinct is adjacent to the Parow Station and bounded by Voortrekker Road, Tygervallei Street, Cloete and Picton Streets. Ms Nieuwoudt said the precinct needs urban regeneration and investment.

Those appealing against this decision have until Thursday June 4 to contact the office of the Western Cape Minister for Cultural Affairs and Sport.

The call for residents and interested parties to comment on the proposal to exempt the precinct from heritage protection under the National Heritage Resources Act went out one year ago.

Ms Nieuwoudt said this precinct is the first in South Africa to be exempted from Sections 34 of the NHRA. The purpose of the proposed exemption is to make it easier for property owners to alter, demolish, or rebuild properties in the Parow Station Precinct, or to consolidate properties for development.

Ms Nieuwoudt said this would improve the financial viability of development in the Parow Station Precinct.

Parow precinct is ideally located to stimulate growth and to create more inclusive communities with access to improved services, job opportunities, and affordable housing and public transport, she said.

CEO of the Greater Tygerberg partnership Warren Hewitt said the lifting of heritage status is a positive move as long as planning applications fit into an overall plan for the area. And as long as key partners, the Voortrekker Road Corridor Improvement District (VRCID) and civic organisations, are consulted in the decision making process and not just building for the sake of it, said Mr Hewitt.

He said there is very little heritage left in this area of Parow. There is much crime and grime and he suggests that many landlords are not aware of who is leasing the properties. He said the arcade area has fallen into a devastating state of repair with social problems in some buildings and general crime and grime.

At a Sub-council 4 meeting in May last year the initial phase of a R10m precinct-management project was due to begin in Parow. The project is part of the Mayoral Urban Regeneration Programme (MURP). The first phase began in December focussing on reducing crime and grime. It was due to end next month. 

Ward 26 councillor Franchesca Walker said the project would commence during the 2019/20 financial year, funded by the City’s operating budget, and would take two years to complete. Plans included an operational control room, additional CCTV cameras, extra cleaning staff, auxiliary law enforcement officers and improvements to area lighting. 

The project was set in motion in June 2019 after local residents and property and business owners met with the mayor and identified the need to improve the existing conditions within the Parow central business district (CBD).

Mayor Dan Plato visited the area in November when houses in this area were torched on the day Tazné Van Wyk’s alleged murderer appeared in Goodwood Magistrate’s Court.

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