No to stroke rehab

The Meadowridge Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association (MRRA) said the area is a Garden City suburb and they would like to keep it that way.

Therefore, they are appealing against Sub-council 20’s approval for a temporary departure which allows a stroke rehabilitation centre to continue operating in Kendal Road.

The South Peninsula Rehab has been operating from the same home for nine years and the association has opposed all its operational applications to sub-council, unsuccessfully.

They are opposed to the medical business for a number of reasons, such as increased traffic congestion, keeping the suburb’s residential character and concerns about crime.

The centre was given approval to operate from the house in 2006 but needed to reapply after the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEADP) changed title deed restrictions in 2011.

“Meadowridge was developed as a Garden City suburb, the first of its kind in South Africa, and as such should be respected and maintained,” chairman Mark Shäfer said in his letter of opposal to the City.

The Garden City concept was started internationally and adopted in South Africa in the early 1900s. The concept motivates for urban designs that are all-inclusive – mini cities – surrounded by greenbelts.

Andre Alexander, the CEO of Garden Cities South Africa, said: “Garden Cities no longer enforces conditions of ownership in this suburb and relies on residents themselves, through the process of official application, to exercise their right in matters of land use departures.”

The centre’s next door neighbour was concerned about crime.

In her letter of opposition to sub-council, she said: “Due to the premises being vacant at night and weekends, we find it to be an easy access point for burglars into our premises – as has already occurred.”

The family suggested that razor wire be put on the adjoining walls.

MRRA secretary Winnie Craythorne said: “When this matter came before Sub-council 20 on June 15, our chairman, Mark Schäfer, appeared and used the same arguments earlier this year in a similar matter in Claremont – where Sub-council 20 refused the City Planning Department’s recommendation to approve the application, whereas in the Meadowridge matter, Sub-council 20 approved the application as recommended by the City Planning Department.

“The executive committee of this association is of the view that an explanation for the disparate differences on the decisions, based on similar applications, by the same councillors, would be interesting.”

According to the Sub-council agenda notes, the practice is a small out-patient neuro rehabilitation centre “for stroke patients and others with acquired brain injuries”.

“As the focus of the practice is to help patients re-integrate into their normal lives within the community, it is essential to the practice ethos that the rehabilitation centre is situated in a homely environment where the patient can identify with the ‘home from home’ feeling,” the notes said.

In response to residents’ objections, the centre had installed an electric fence, barbed wire and motion detectors linked to an armed response, the sub-council notes said.

The centre’s Laurie Creevy declined to comment.