Plan for housing on farmland

An artist's impression of the street view of the planned block of flats.

More Kuils River farmland could soon give way to another housing development.

A developer has applied to the City of Cape Town to turn more than 4 hectares of agricultural land off Van Riebeeck Road, in Vredelust, between the Jagtershof and St Duma’s neighbourhoods, into a sub-divisional area with general residential zoning.

Two plots of land with agricultural zoning would be consolidated to create 13 group-housing plots zoned general residential (GR1); two general residential plots (with GR2 zoning); a business site with general business (GB2) zoning; a public street; and a utility zone.

The new block of flats planned for Kuils River will be to the west of Ochna Street, near Acacia Street and alongside the planned general-business site. The block will have 82 flats, 71 one-bedroom units and 11 two-bedroom units.

The other portion of the development, to the east of Ochna Street and near Skilpaddam Road, will have 293 flats: 265 one-bedrooms and 28 two-bedrooms.

All of the flats will have a bathroom, open-plan kitchen with a lounge and a dining room.

The block will be mostly three storeys high, but with a fourth storey in places.

Most of the flats, from the second storey and up, will have their own balconies.

Parking areas will be underneath each block of flats, with two bays per two-bedroom flat and one parking bay for a one-bedroom flat.

The land-use application seeks departures from the 4.5m street building line to 3.8m on Ochna Street and 1.5m on Saxdown Road. The application also seeks the approval of street names for Ochna Street and Cadaba Street.

Africa Truck, a used-truck company, on Van Riebeeck Road, is on a plot that will be part of the site to be developed.

Linette du Toit at Africa Trucks said they had heard about “a development” but were not aware that it would affect the company.

“We do not have any plans to move from this area. We are renting this space, and landlords would have told us to move, but we were not informed,” she said.

According to the land-use application, a request to demolish a dilapidated building, being used as a warehouse at Africa Truck, has been submitted to Heritage Western Cape.

Heritage Western Cape did not respond to Northern News’s questions before the paper went to print.

The developer,Jacques Volschenk, said flats would vary in size from 37m² for a one-bedroom to 61m² for a two-bedroom. They would be sold on the open market, but the final selling prices had not yet been determined.

“While the apartments will mostly be one- and two-bedroom units, which will primarily cater for students, a couple or young professional, the group housing dwellings will be slightly larger and will be ideally suited for a small family,” he added.

Mr Volschenk said a traffic-impact assessment for the proposed development had found that “all intersections analysed functioned at acceptable service levels and did not require any upgrades”. It wasn’t clear yet what the businesses-zoned property would be used for as it would likely be sold to a third party.

The land-use application is out for public comment until Monday, November 19.

While no officials objections had been received by the time Northern News went to print last week, some residents we spoke to voiced concerns about the possible impact another big housing development in Kuils River would have on the area’s already badly congested roads.

Bongani Mjkelo, from Vredelust, said he spent more time in traffic on the Van Riebeeck Road than quality time with his son.

“Housing developments will cause worse traffic congestion, even though I leave at early hours of the morning, I still arrive at work late because of traffic,” he said.

The traffic problem was aggravated by the fact that Kuils River had no access to reliable public transport.

“Developments are quick to go up. However, they don’t consider the traffic congestion or look for alternatives to alleviate the traffic,” he said.

Kuils River Civic Association chairman Isaac Jenecke said Kuils River’s public transport and traffic issues should be ironed out before any housing developments were planned.

Four-storey-high flats might also intrude on neighbours’ privacy, especially those living in Ochna Street and Skilpaddam Road, he said.

The association was still considering whether to object or not, he said.

Councillor Desiree Visagie did not respond to an email sent on Monday November 5 and all calls went unanswered.

Former transport and urban development Mayco member Brett Herron said the land-use application was being assessed by various City officials and departments and consideration would be given to the impact such a development might have on the neighbours’ privacy.

Comments and objections can be sent to comments_objections.tygerberg@capetown.gov.za

Cn rk traffic 1- An artist’s impression of the block of flats inside the premises.

Cn rk traffic 2- An artist’s impression of the street view of the planned block of flats.