Pelican Park still to take off

24 Sep 2008 Posted by in Environment, News and Events | 2 comments

By Tanya Petersen

DESPITE saying the environmental approval for the Pelican Park development could be granted by January this year, the city’s directorate for housing is still to submit its application for permission to develop to the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEADP).

It was announced in 2006 by Mayor Helen Zille that the development at Pelican Park will take place on land bordering Strandfontein Road, Pelican Park and Zeekoevlei.

The area was earmarked for development as far back as the 1980s, when the state first purchased the land for housing purposes. To date, the land has only been partially developed for housing purposes, with about 352 ha still undeveloped.

For many years, planned developments on the site lapsed due to a lack of funding. In an article published last year in People’s Post (“Pelican Park moving ahead”, Tuesday 31 July 2007), Peter Oscroft, head of special projects for the city’s housing directorate, said consultants were compiling the draft Environmental Impact Report for the site, which was to have been completed by the end of August last year.

He said the final report would be submitted to DEADP by 15 October 2007.

Oscroft added that in terms of the regulations, the department had 105 days to assess and review the report, and ten days to administer the drafting of its decision, and that the subsequent environmental approval would have been granted by the end of January this year.

However, Oscroft says that this did not happen as the intended application to DEADP for environmental authority to develop brought about an unprecedented range of comments and questions from individual members of the public and concerned groups.

Says Oscroft, “Because of sensitive environmental issues, with regards to the determination of the southern boundary of phase two with the conservation area (between Pelican Park and Pelican Heights), the environmental process was split into two applications, with the first application for phase one and the second application for phases two and three.”

Phase one and phase two will both involve an integrated development, and will be made up of subsidised housing, GAP housing, community-residential units and pre-market housing.

The land involved in phase three will be subdivided and sold as open plots.

Meanwhile, DEADP, after initially requiring only that the city submit a traffic statement (a brief statement committing the city to design Strandfontein Road to accommodate Pelican Park and other traffic), the department advised that a full Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) must be submitted.

Oscroft says the TIA was completed in July this year, and that environmental consultants are now compiling the final report.

Oscroft says that despite the extended duration of the environmental process, about 3 000 people have been identified as possible beneficiaries for the subsidy housing component of the development.

“The people have been identified in accordance with the council-approved allocation policy and have confirmed that that they would like to be given the opportunity to live in the development.”

However, he adds that these people have not yet been screened for eligibility for subsidies.

Oscroft says that once environmental authority has been granted by DEADP, an application will be submitted to the city’s Spatial Planning, Environmental and Land Use Management committee for zoning approval, possibly in January. If all goes well, the procurement process to appoint a turnkey developer could commence in March next year, with the first sod possibly being turned on the site in July.

The development is expected to take at least two years to complete if the revised report is submitted to DEADP before the end of September.

On the matter, Rudi Ellis, acting head of the DEADP, says the department can refuse the application when the development is detrimental to the environment.

However, he adds that the applicant would then have the opportunity to appeal.

Those who are in not favour of the development can also appeal, should approval be granted.

Originally published in the People’s Post

  1. Jasmine Bezuidenhoud08-07-10

    How do a person get on the waiting list for gap housing in Zeekoeivlei.
    I am currently renting and I do not qualify for a bond with the bank.
    I woul like to place my name on the waiting list for housing in GrassyPark, Zeekoeivlei and Pelikan Park.
    Thios government only caters for people earning less than R5000.00. What about those who earn more?

  2. Lorraine04-21-11

    What about us at civic road informal settlement thats been living on the same informal settlement for 50, 43, 40, 23 years and been on the cities database is that fair democracy