What the BEC does:
- Represent Green Point’s interests at general and specific levels by commenting on area planning proposals and building-related applications, on a scale from balconies and boundary walls to high-rise buildings.
- Represent Green Point’s interests in political and governmental policy development and decisions as they relate to the built environment. We aim to be a responsible civic organisation.
Why the BEC does it:
- There are statutory requirements for comment from civics regarding municipal (City) laws and regulations, and provincial government (Heritage Western Cape) in terms of Environmental and Heritage legislation.
- Knowledge of the area, civic experience and some professional expertise leads to informed decision-making about appropriate local developments. The BEC will discuss and negotiate with developers and community members.
- Controlled development requires dedicated focus and attention – you can never replace our built heritage or our textured and characteristic environment once it has been destroyed. Even the smallest alterations may have a disastrous cumulative effect.
Current BEC activities
Commenting on and, if appropriate, objecting to applications for consent which include:
- Demolitions, alterations, additions to old buildings (older than 60 years), new building plans, departures from permissible development.
- Changes in zoning and land use – such as guest houses or businesses in residential areas, subdivisions.
Planning – local and provincial - The BEC continues to provide responsible civic participation in planning proposals. This takes time and effort – attendance of public meetings, and the ability to read between the lines of thick reports or behind slick power-point presentations.
New integrated zoning scheme and planning by-laws will impact local planning decisions and possibly erode civic powers.
Assist in enforcement of the more rigid restrictions within our Heritage Protection Overlay Zones. Suggestions for expanding these HPOZ's.
We are accredited as a heritage body with Heritage Western Cape – i.e their Built Environment and Landscape Committee consults the BEC before making decisions regarding properties in Green Point.
Illegal building control. We have challenged the City’s laissez-faire attitude, the lack of enforcement and the pitifully small penalties where legal action is taken. The City has endorsed new regulations, but making sure that transgressors are reported and the law is enforced is still our responsibility.
Threats to title-deed restrictions continue. The latest threat comes from the newly implemented planning by-laws.
- The big one is the lack of integrated planning or coordination for all the proposed redevelopments at the stadium, the urban park, Granger Bay Boulevard, Somerset Hospital Precinct and Granger Bay Precinct.
- We are working towards streamlining communication and collaboration with city and provincial officials.
Plans for the future:
- Guidelines for responding to certain categories of application to be posted on the website. For instance we prioritise minimum destruction of our built heritage and maximum public open space, greening, off street parking, people-friendly streetscapes, and compliance with title-deed conditions.
- Guidelines for protecting our built environment and managing our heritage. We urgently need a new survey of what’s left and the consistent application of a credible heritage grading process.
Guidelines for ratepayers/residents wishing to obtain planning consent for modifications to or redevelopment of their property:
- If the existing property is more than 60 years old, any full or partial demolition will require a demolition permit issued by Heritage Western Cape – see www.westerncape.gov.za/Text/2005/12/heritage_permit_form.pdf
- A City of Cape Town planning application form must be completed – see www.capetown.gov.za/en/Planningportal/Pages/BuildingControl.aspx
- If this planning application shows any departures in terms of the Land Use Planning Ordinance, the Planning Dept will send registered letters to any affected neighbours and to the BEC requesting comment and/or objection. A time limit is set, beyond which any objection will be invalid..