Development build-up

Landmark historical cottages at the entrance to Wolfe Street.

Developers want to put up a four-storey office block, with shops as well as ground-floor and basement parking, on an empty piece of land in Tokai’s Vans Road.

The application by Olden & Associates Urban Planners and the site’s owner, Dreyersdal Properties, seeks to rezone 9A Vans Road (Erf 4149) from general residential to general business to make way for the development.

It also wants to reduce the number of regulation parking bays from 124 to 81 and permit parking 2m from the street boundary instead of 10m.

Area south Mayco member, Eddie Andrews, said a traffic-impact assessment had been done but he did not supply details.

Michael Olden, of Olden & Associates, said the standard parking requirement for the “gross leasable area” was 124 bays. “However, we have met with the transport directorate and are applying parking standards for a public transport zone 1, given the site proximity to the station and main road with established taxi routes. This has been backed up by a traffic impact statement by traffic consultants Gibb Africa.

“The City of Cape Town are thus supportive of the amount of bays proposed for the development.”

Terry Simon, treasurer of the Tokai Residents’ Association, said they had heard nothing from the City or residents about plans for a development at the site and did not say whether they would object.

The closing date for objections and comments is Tuesday April 3.

* A Norfolk Island pine tree is at the centre of a rezoning and consolidation application at a well-known landmark in Wynberg’s Chelsea Village.

Olden & Associates has applied to remove trees at the back of two heritage-protected cottages on five erven in Lonsdale Road at the entrance to Wolfe Street. The firm wants to consolidate the five plots to allow for an interior decor, drapery store and residential component with 10 parking bays.

Kim du Plessis, of Olden & Associates, said a City heritage consultant had given permission previously for the pine to go. But then the property had changed hands.

Tree specialist Rod Tritton says the tree is not conservation worthy and it also has a disease that withers its branches and makes it ooze a toxic resin that damages paintwork and “attracts bees in vast numbers in the summer”.

Wynberg historian and author Dr Helen Robinson said the double-storey, semi-detached cottages were separate in the 1860s and 1970s and owned by Duncan Taylor.

It was one of the first Wynberg shops that sold quality clothing for men and women, bonnets and hats, household and dress materials and haberdashery. Later Duncan Taylor opened a big department store on the Main Road but he kept the old shop on as a store and a work room.

Dr Robinson said cottages on this road from Durban Road upwards had been owned by working class people, some of whom might have been freed-slave families.

Tim Jackson, of Old Wynberg Village Society, said he needed to get consensus from the committee before commenting.

“Actually we are still not sure which trees are to be removed,” he said.

Mr Andrews said the two trees to be removed were a Norfolk Island pine and a bay tree and neither was a protected species.

Comments or objections should be made on or before Tuesday April 3 to

* At Squirrel’s Leap, at 11 Timber Way, on the corner of Homestead Avenue and next to Bergvliet Farm is the subject of an application by Olden & Associates and B Perrow. They want to subdivide the 1 838m2 site into four portions.

Bergvliet Meadowridge Ratepayers’ Association chairman, Mark Schafer, said the City had deemed the neighbour on the opposite side of the street, facing and overlooked by a potential new development, not to be an interested party while those many streets away were.

The closing date for objections and comments is Tuesday April 3.

* An application has been advertised to delete some title deed conditions for 9 Bellevue Avenue, which runs below and parallel to Rhodes Drive, to allow for a guest house with 12 guest suites and a floor space of 2 000m2 instead of 1 500 m2.

There is already construction taking place at the site.

Mr Andrews says the building plan to extend the existing dwelling was approved in July 2015 and work had started a month later. The closing date for objection or comment is Tuesday April 3.

* The City is selling a 70 800m2 plot on the corner of Westlake Avenue and Boyes Drive (“Mystery of vacant plot uncovered,” Bulletin March 17, 2017).

It is variously zoned for open space, public open space transport, public road and public parking.

Some years ago, then councillor Denis Joseph of Ward 71, in which the land is located, said it was one of several sites identified as a possible alternative to the Ladies Mile dump, which closed in September 2016.

City officials struggled to find out who owned the land which had no street number, although its erf number is 13087. Then the Bulletin learnt that it was, in fact, a portion of a farm owned by the South Peninsula Municipality – now the City of Cape Town.

The land has been home to mountain bikers who built a BMX-style adventure track and to various homeless people.

Monday April 2 is the deadline for objections and comments.