New garden centre for Diep River

Civils work under way for new garden centre on the corner of Bergvliet and Main roads in Diep River.

Managing director of Stodels Nurseries, Nick Stodel, is excited that a project they have been working on since 2011 is close to becoming a reality.

If all goes according to plan, the property surrounded by Boundary, Bergvliet and Main roads in Diep river will be developed for a garden centre.

They hope to be open by September 2019. Meanwhile, they have started to do some of the civil works on the site.

Mr Stodel said this garden centre will replace the one that they currently operate on Doordrift Road, which he says they have outgrown.

“Although we’ve been getting fantastic feedback from our customers about the Doordrift Road garden centre, we need to be able to offer a larger range of plants, and this (new) garden centre will give us a much larger plant area,” says Mr Stodel.

He says the building will remain small and in keeping with others in the surrounding areas.
They also hope to get approval for a small coffee shop and kiddies play park.

Mayco member for transport and urban development, Felicity Purchase, says the plan comprises two erven. The larger one on the corner of Boundary and Bergvliet roads is council-owned and is leased to Stodels Nursery.

She says the Municipal Planning Tribunal (MPT) approved plans to permit a plant nursery on Tuesday February 20.

Ms Purchase says this land will be used for the storage and display of plants, etc, and no significant structures are proposed.

They received three objections and two comments where one applicant then appealed a condition relating to the access servitude which was upheld, and the condition amended.

The smaller property, on the corner of Bergvliet and Main roads, is owned by Stodels Nursery.

The rezoning of this property to special residential (in terms of the former Cape Town zoning scheme) to permit a garden centre was recommended for approval by the Council Spatial Planning, Environment and Land Use Management Committee on July 18, 2012 and approved by full council one month later.

Ms Purchase says an objector then appealed this decision. The provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning dismissed the appeal on October 2014.

An application to extend the validity of this approval was then approved with the lapsing date being in 2021, if not acted upon. Building plans have been submitted. A further application was then submitted to amend conditions of approval to extend the garden centre building. Two objections were received.

This application was approved by the MPT on Tuesday February 20, and the final notice was issued on Wednesday June 6.

Ms Purchase says the objections were about traffic concerns and a misunderstanding around the height of the building. “We dealt with
the traffic concerns by adding more space for parking. The delay in starting was to ensure all complaints had been acknowledged and council had to discuss the parking arrangement with Stodels.”

Mark Schafer, chairman of the Bergvliet Meadowridge Ratepayers’ Association, says there are
mixed reactions from residents about the new development but the fight has gone on for 20 years and people ran out of steam. .
”The only aspect we objected to was the proposed signage on Bergvliet Road. We were overruled,” he says.