Under the hammer

Erf 20907 in Olienhout Avenue, Plattekloof is set to go on auction next week.

The City is selling a piece of land, long-used as a de facto park by Plattekloof residents, despite 33 public objections, including one from the former ward councillor.

The plot (erf 20907) in Olienhout Avenue is zoned residential, but residents go for strolls and walk their dogs there. And some feel the land – which will go under the hammer at the Cullinan Hotel in the CBD at noon on Wednesday June 13 – is a green lung in an otherwise built-up area and should be turned into a public park.

However, Stuart Diamond, Mayco member for assets and facilities management, said the land was not needed for municipal purposes and would be made available, by auction, for “potential residential development”.

Previously the City said a condition of the sale of the property would be that any future development there should include some affordable GAP housing.

Asked what the 3.2 ha plot was valued at, Mr Diamond said the auction would determine that. And Claremart Auctioneers were not prepared to put a value on the land.

Former ward councillor Sakkie Pretorius submitted a motion to council as far back as 2009 to oppose the sale of the land (“Green light for land sale,” Northern News, May 3, 2017).

He objected, along with 32 others, when the City advertised the sale for public comment in 2015.

Mr Pretorius had called for erf 20907 to be consolidated with erf 20908 and rezoned as public open space.

In his 2009 motion, he said it would be a travesty if a hotel or a housing project was built on the land and that it should, instead, be preserved as a park for future generations.

Other objectors had claimed the area’s 30-year-old infrastructure couldn’t support more traffic and development and lamented the loss of nature to “commercial use”.

Last year, resident Dave Wilken, a retired senior official from the old Tygerberg municipality, said he hoped residents would have another chance to have a say on the future plans once development proposals were submitted to council.

He said the land was the only green lung in an otherwise built up area.

Mr Pretorius, who stepped down in 2016, said he still opposed building houses on the land.

“I was against the development, and I still am. It will only add to further congestion in the area. You have the retirement village at the top of the road, and one can only imagine how traffic will be affected if a housing development sprung up on that land,” he said this week.

“I no longer work for the City, and if you are not the ward councillor anymore, you don’t have any control over these decisions.”