Cape Town residents are fuming after news of the sale and lease of protected public land, located in the beloved coastal reserve of Maiden’s Cove, between Camps Bay and Clifton.
The City of Cape Town approved plans for Maiden’s Cove, which include building a boutique hotel, more than 50 private homes, a parking garage for 750 cars, and retail space as large as that of the Checkers in Sea Point.
These plans were officially released in March 2016, along with a call for tender. A total of eight tenders were received before the closing date of 13 June 2016. A successful bidder was announced in October 2017. This bidder will receive a 50-year lease of the land and make their money back as houses are sold.
In line with the contract, the awarded bidder is required to upgrade the surrounding public infrastructure which includes features such as a coastal park, pedestrians walkways and redeveloping the Glen Country Club clubhouse and recreational facilities.
The Bungalow Owners Association has initiated proceedings in the Cape High Court to have the decision by the City reviewed on a number of interrelated technical and procedural grounds. The broader Cape Town community is being represented by Maidens’ Cove for All (MCA). The group supports the Bungalow Owners Association with their application and intervention against the development, and will throughout the course of July be joining the proceedings as an intervener while voicing their own view points on the development.
MCA seeks to oppose the City and plans to prove that they cannot evade or outsource their constitutional and statutory responsibility. According to MCA, the land in question is not just any piece of land, it is a beloved area close to the hearts of the community with both emotional and historical value. The City is obligated to handle it as a public trust for present and future generations.
The group is convinced that the City is legally obligated to enhance and not reduce access to the sea for the broader public. They have argued that there is a duty to engage in a transparent way with its own heritage officials, as well as provincial and other statutory bodies created to protect the environment.
Many struggles have been fought in the Mother City in an effort to maintain and protect public land against environmentally destructive developments. The battles have ended in favour of those fighting for our beautiful land to remain unscathed by such developments and many hope that the same will happen in the case of Maiden’s Cove. A statement by the City said that the planning processes and required statutory public participation for the development of the site will take place in accordance with the Municipal Planning By-law and Municipal Finance Management Act.
The process ahead is expected to be very lengthly and those against this development have time to feed the flame of resistance. You can join the Maiden’s Cove for all cause on their Facebook or website and their new Facebook group will soon be up and running for those interested in joining the discussion.
The City of Cape Town has refused a comment at this time due to the issue currently being before the Western Cape High Court.