PROPERTY: Fisantekraal For Urban Development
Recent Western Cape Business News
The City of Cape Town’s Planning and Environment Portfolio Committee (PEPCO) has sent a recommendation to the Provincial Government of the Western Cape requesting that certain portions of land, located adjacent to the Fisantekraal township, be reserved for urban development.
A report recommending a proposed amendment to the Cape Metropolitan Area Urban Structure Plan was presented at the City’s PEPCO meeting earlier this month, and it was proposed that in terms of the Urban Structure Plan the land usage be changed from agriculture to urban development to allow for residential and related development.
An agricultural assessment undertaken by the Department of Soil Science at the University of Stellenbosch concluded that the aforementioned areas of land are “not suitable for economically viable production of perennial crops”, largely due to the low clay content of the topsoil and unavailability of sufficient volumes of water.
“An amendment to the plan would help to address the important need for housing in Cape Town, and the sections of land identified are considered suitable for this purpose,” said PEPCO Chairperson, Alderman Brian Watkyns.
At the PEPCO meeting, the project team made a presentation indicating proposed mixed development, providing for 14 000 housing opportunities and a full range of community facilities. A percentage of the housing opportunities will go towards subsidized housing, addressing the City’s housing backlog. The proposed density for the development is set at 18-20 dwellings per hectare and between 20 and 25 percent of the land will be retained for conservation.
The City supports the application for a number of reasons. The property is located within an identified future growth corridor, i.e. the Kraaifontein North Eastern Development Corridor. This growth corridor is supported by the Malmesbury rail link as a backbone for public transport, which is intended to become a passenger line in future. Residents living in the development would therefore have direct access to public transport, which will in turn provide access to employment opportunities further afield. Nearby employment opportunities include the Fisantekraal industrial area. The rail link is also supported by a higher road system with easy access to the N1 freeway, as well as the R300 and Darwin Road.
The proposed development offers the opportunity for an integrated development, where the complete range of socio-economic groupings within an urban settlement can be located. The portion of the land owned by the City, which was included in the application, has for some time been occupied by an informal settlement. This development would allow for a formalisation and expansion of the settlement, equipping it with facilities and opportunities.
The application for this development was advertised in the press and Provincial Gazette in June 2009 and neighbouring property owners were consulted. Three letters of objection were received and noted, and the concerns therein have been addressed. The matter will now rest with the Provincial Government of the Western Cape for a decision. The approval for the amendment of the Urban Structure Plan will not constitute an approval for the proposed development as a rezoning and subdivision application must still be submitted to the City of Cape Town for consideration.
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