Residents oppose venue’s liquor application

The Constantia Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association has launched an online petition against the application for a liquor licence by a function venue in Southern Cross Drive.

On its website, the association notes that the property, which previously housed the Dutch Embassy, “was fairly recently bought by The Forum, a Johannesburg-based company” and that “despite our formal objection, as well as those nearby residents, the City of Cape Town approved the rezoning of this property to allow it to be used as a function venue”. The venue in Constantia is called The Forum Embassy Hill.

In its petition, the association notes that it strongly objects to the granting of a liquor licence because there are no street lights or parking, there is a frail care facility nearby, and because of the potential for noise pollution.

“We have been inundated with complaints from neighbouring residents as well as Constantia residents as a whole, as they feel (as we do) that this simply cannot be allowed to happen. Southern Cross is already a busy and dangerous road as vehicles speed and mini taxis run amok. The last thing it now needs is drunken drivers,” the association noted.

In a letter to the Bulletin, Constantia resident Gavin Clayden complained that residents had not been given enough time to comment, with the public participation period closing on Monday March 13.

“Unfortunately they only give 14 days for comment which I think is insufficient time to inform all concerned residents of Constantia.

“I have already spoken to ward councillor Liz Brunette who has advised that there are already several liquor licences in residential areas of Constantia.”

But Ms Brunette said all liquor licence applications follow a very particular process in terms of the Control of Undertakings that sell Liquor to the Public 2013 By-law.

“The criteria to be used when assessing an application are listed on the notice received by all interested and affected parties,” she said.

“If there are no valid reasons to object to an application I will support the application. If I have any valid reason to object to an application, I will do so.”

Glynis Hyslop, managing director of The Forum and also a member of the CRRA, said they were an award-winning company which hosted “mostly international events”, which was “good for tourism”.

The CRRA was actively involved in opposing the rezoning and heavily supported the appeal, however, the rezoning was upheld by the Mayor and her dismissal of the appeal specifically mentioned that it should allow a place of entertainment.

“As a place of entertainment requires a liquor licence I was deeply concerned by the mail circulated by the CRRA as it contains many misleading statements.

“Our licence will be used for private events, we have ample parking on site and most guests to an evening event will use Uber or be transported in luxury vehicles or by small luxury buses. Ninety percent of our business is high end conferences or luxury international business,” she said.