Public participation open for future Alphen Hill flats

* The Berwick will be built next to the Victoria Hospital car park and will have 14 units on five floors.

A developer wants to build a seven-storey block of flats near Victoria Hospital, on Alphen Hill.

An application to consolidate four properties in Berwick Road for the block of 47 flats was advertised recently.

Those wanting to comment or object have until Monday October 15 to do so.

The application has been brought by Andrew Pratt of APTP Town Planning. The four plots are owned by Initium Developers Proprietary Limited, and, according to Mr Pratt, the developer is Kings Hill Group.

Kings Hill Group’s director John Turner told the Bulletin he had not received any comments from council or neighbours at this stage. Asked whether he would be doing an environmental impact assessment as the site fell within a protected area for rain frogs, he said he had not been asked to do so at this point.

The four plots are next to a property in the same road that will be home to The Berwick – a 14-unit block, yet to be built, that will have basement and ground floor parking, three identical floors of four units, and a fourth floor of two penthouse units.

Planning permission for this block has been granted and Greeff Properties is marketing the units.

All the plots in Berwick Road are home to cottages or small blocks not higher than two or three storeys.

The Wynberg Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association (WRRA) has received letters of concern from residents in Berwick Road as well as in Lindley Road, which runs parallel to Berwick, because residents in this road will also be affected by the proposed 47 flats in the seven-storey building.

The developer has applied for a series of departures from City by-laws, some of which are related to boundary setbacks.

They also applied for only 59 off-street parking bays, instead of the required 94 that would mean two per flat, and for departures with regard to carriageways.

Ward councillor Liz Brunette said the application was raised by the WRRA and discussed at last week’s ward committee meeting.

She said the property was zoned General Residential 4 (GR4), allowing for a building height of 24m.

She said all the developed properties between Alphen Hill Road and Bower Road in Wynberg were zoned GR4, with the exception of one in Bower Road, zoned Local Business 1 (LB1), and there are a number of multi-storey blocks of flats in the surrounding
area.

WRRA chairperson Kristina Davidson said one of the departures applied for is rezoning part of the consolidated property to GR5. “It is unclear why. GR5 permits buildings of 35 metres high, but also has different requirements for boundary building lines and street set-back,” said Ms Davidson.

Residents have raised several concerns on the WRRA website:

* There will be pressure on parking because Berwick Road, already handles overflow traffic from visitors to Victoria Hospital.

* The road is used as a short-cut to schools.

* Drainage and sewage are already under pressure.

* Mountain views will be spoiled.

* Privacy will be lost as the new neighbours will be able to look straight into surrounding properties.

* Such a high building will be out of character with the surroundings.

* There are buildings with IIIB heritage grading behind the proposed development. Grade IIIB contributes to the environmental quality or cultural significance of a neighbourhood.

Comments and objections can be emailed to comments_objections.southern@capetown.gov.za

You will need to state your full name, address, contact details, the method by which you may be notified and what your interest in the application is. You will also need to give the reason for your objection or comment.