Plans for drop-off revealed

The final step in a lengthy process is underway for a Constantia family who were forced to leave their land under the 1960’s Group Areas Act.

The application process has commenced regarding plans for land previously known as the Ladies Mile drop-off.

The land comprises the site bounded by the M3, Ladies Mile, Spaanschemat River and Kendal roads, erf 4724.

The plans do not include erf 13707 and 13708 which make up the 1.5 hectares between the traffic lights and the M3.

The Solomon family purchased their land in 1902 where they farmed vegetables and grapes for both local consumption and export.

When the family were awarded the property in a protracted land restitution claim process, the Land Claims Commissioner required a business plan from the claimants as part of the settlement agreement.

In August 2015, one of the owners, Rashaad Solomon, revealed to the Bulletin that the Solomon Trust planned to develop the land and build a supermarket, townhouses and apartments (“Bitter sweet memories of Constantia”, Bulletin October 29, 2015).

Planning applications have been submitted to Heritage Western Cape, the Provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning and the City of Cape Town and the application pre-consultation phase has been finalised with the City.

The next step is for the application to be advertised in terms of a public participation programme whereby the public will be afforded the opportunity to comment on the proposed development.

Mr Solomon said the vision for the entire site, including an erf on the east of the M3, is for a mixed use development including residential and public open spaces which can be cross subsidised with commercial and retail components.

The proposal for the land to the east of the M3 is for a retail centre comprising a flagship Checkers and signature buildings including restaurants and convenience shops.

A basement will cover the entire site to accommodate parking, services, storage and loading.

Mr Solomon said the intention is to create an open environment with low level walls, landscaping and low intensity lighting.

Checkers will have a trading space of approximately 2900 m2, and the total development is about 9 850 m2 including basement parking.

The planners have discussed traffic flow and include the possibility of a traffic circle at the Ladies Mile Spaanschemat River Road intersection.

“Everything was taken into account, including landscaping and the environment, we don’t want it to be an eyesore. It will be in line and within keeping with the developments that are already in the area.

Returning the land will address the injustice caused to the Solomon family and will go a long way towards restoring the heritage that the family played such an important part in the economic and social development of Constantia,” said Mr Solomon at that time.

Mayco member for Spatial Planning Johan van der Merwe, said the City’s planning and building development department has received an application to consider a shopping centre on ervens 13707 and 13708, which will require rezoning and consolidation and approval in terms the location of parking.

Mayco member for human settlements Benedicta van Minnen, said erf 4724 is still in the process of being transferred into the various names of the land claimants.