Church eyes land

Erf 4481, situated between the Durbanville clinic and the New Apostolic Church in De Villiers Avenue, Durbanville.

The City plans to push forward with plans to sell public land in Durbanville worth almost R4 million for a place of worship after Sub-council 7 supported a previous recommendation.

Last year, Sub-council 7 held off on approving the City’s bid to sell public land and wanted a clear plan of the site drawn up before giving their blessing to the sale of Erf 4481, situated between the Durbanville clinic and the New Apostolic Church and currently zoned public open space (“Sub-council wants formal plan for CBD,” Northern News, February 23 2017).

At the time, Ward 105 councillor Ruan Beneke said vacant land in Durbanville’s CBD was scarce and while he was not against a place of worship, he felt they needed a “formal plan” for the area.

“We need more planning for the area and need to consider the knock-on effect that it would have on this area in particular and other businesses,” he said.

The City has since applied for rezoning and subdivision of the land.

Area north Mayco member Suzette Little said there was an application for the rezoning of the remainder of Erf 4481 from open space zoning to community zoning for the purpose of accommodating a place of instruction and place of worship.

There was an additional application for a subdivision of the plot into two portions and an application to permit the closure of the public open space designation on the land.

Ms Little said the property would be sold by tender once the rezoning and subdivision had been approved.

The City only received one comment during the 2016 public comment period. The resident who objected asked how the sale of the land would affect traffic and parking in the already busy De Villiers Avenue.

The resident said the land was already being used for extra parking by the church and the clinic, and he was worried about the impact the development would have on the community.

On the issue of parking, Ms Little, said access to the site from De Villiers Drive was considered acceptable. “However, the successful tenderer would have to submit building plans and, as part of the submission, access and parking will need to be assessed and approved.”

Sub-council chairman and Ward 103 councillor Gerhard Fourie said they had since given their blessing following a long period of discussions.

Mr Fourie said the City’s health department had shown interest in a portion of the land for future use by the local clinic.

Ralph Hardick, of the New Apostolic Church, said they had expressed interest previously in buying the land.

The church had problems with parking especially with its Sunday services. He was, however, not aware of the rezoning application and said they had not received any further communication.

“We will take the issue of buying the land up with our property committee,” he said.

The period for public comment closes on Monday April 23. Objections or comments can be emailed to comments_objections.northern@capetown.gov.za