Residents take issue with container shop

A container shop operating on the corners of Dingle Road and Kimberley Street, Goodwood, has been described as an eyesore which is degrading the surrounding neighbourhood.

At the meeting of the Goodwood Ratepayers’ Association, resident Dave Beelders wanted to know why the three containers had been allowed there in the first place.

He described his shock at seeing the run-down look of the property a couple of weeks ago.

“Goodwood is regressing into a slum area,” he said.

By Thursday July 13, one container, which had been stacked on top of another, was removed, Mr Beelders said.

The bottom container is where the shop operates from.

“The site in general is a disgrace,” he said.

Ward 27 (Goodwood) councillor Cecile Janse van Rensburg explained that planning approval was granted for the shop during the December holidays when councillors had recess.

She said a planning official had used his delegated authority to approve the application, and she became aware of it in January.

But she explained later that the approval was linked to the plan of the house before it was demolished.

“If the developer goes ahead and develops the property with a block of flats, the shop would not be in accordance with the plan approved with the land use application.

“With the demolition of the approved structures and the use of a container on the property, the use of the property would be in conflict with the conditions of approval.

“The fact that the erf on which the approval was granted also no longer exists, due to the consolidation of the properties, (means) there is no land use approval on which the owner can act, as the erf no longer exists,” Ms Janse van Rensburg said.

At the ratepayers’ association meeting, the councillor said she was not in favour of house shops in residential areas. She said should the owners want to operate a shop, they would have to apply for an amendment of conditions.

“Further, a condition of approval for the rezoning was that the two properties be consolidated. If building plans are submitted for approval for the development of the block of flats, the existing erf numbers will no longer exist, therefore, the land use approval for the house shop will not be applicable as the property will no longer be in existence,” she said.

At the shop, a man said Northern News should speak to the people building on the site, but there was no one there. An elderly man who said he was the shop’s security guard, said he saw no issue with the shop because it has approval to operate. He wouldn’t give his name and said he keeps an eye on the area to keep unwanted characters out.

“You can see here, there is no rubble outside,” he said while unpacking stock from a bakkie.

The property is being developed by the owners Good Hope Construction, who confirmed flats would be built on the double plot.

Ridwaan Rajah of Good Hope Construction said the shop is being operated by “an external vendor and they have a valid licence to trade”.

Mr Rajah said the shop had been there for years and “provides a commercial service to the community”.

He confirmed that flats would be built on the property and said once construction is complete, the containers would be removed.