Site plan objections in Constantia

Dorothy Giovannini, Constantia

The deadline for the Constantia Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association (CRRA) opinion poll with comments on the site plan etc for Shoprite/Checkers development on Ladies Mile Road dump site is tomorrow Good Friday, March 30, before this future development approval of erven 13707 and 13708 goes to court, as it most likely will.

The poll will indicate what members want, 90% of whom are against this commercial development (“Ladies Mile shopping centre opinion poll,” Bulletin letters February 22).

Nearly all the objections were dismissed out of hand by the Municipal Planning Tribunal (MPT) panel (headed by mayor Patricia de Lille).

In other words, the outcome of approval, before the objections were received, was a fait accompli.Essentially the circle where the entrance is to be sited is already congested, mainly with Ladies Mile Extension access to the proposed circle. There are now four access roads to the circle and the proposed entrance would add a fifth.

We have not seen any study of this problem. The MPT stated that the proposal will not have a negative impact on traffic, particularly given the road upgrades.

A new shopping centre will most certainly generate additional traffic and change the character of Constantia.

There is also the matter of the Constantia Primary children with the school situated at what is to be the circle and the children come mainly from the farms.

They should be able to reach the school safely and return home safely. To build up this area around the school is not justified and should be reviewed.

These children will be tempted to go to their nearest shopping centre and then go home and that will mean crossing two very busy roads.

Brett Herron, Mayco member for transport and urban planning, has proclaimed that the City of Cape Town’s traffic-calming policy aims to protect the most vulnerable road users, with roads adjacent to and leading to schools being the primary focus of attention.

If this shopping development goes ahead how will council cope with the resultant rubbish in this area if they can’t cope with it currently.

The American consulate set a precedent and paved the way for the approval of the large concrete block on the opposite side of Spanschemat River Road.

This building is on a sensitive wetland area. The same thing could happen to Erven 13707/8 setting a precedent for further commercial development on the remaining portion of 4724.

Constantia is beautiful but at the moment I feel very sorry for her.