The residents of one of Cape Town’s most culturally diverse neighbourhoods have lost a Supreme Court of Appeal bid to stop a new 18-storey development from being built there. The decision was made on Tuesday, March 24.
An appeal was made by the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association to the Supreme Court to protect its 250-year-old community from being harmed by the new development, as the City of Cape Town reportedly did not relook at its approval of the R1-billion German development.
As reported by TimesLIVE, Judge Mahomed Navsa said he and four other colleagues could not detect any irregularities in the City Council’s decision-making process. The decision to allow the development to go ahead has come nearly four years after the development was first earmarked for the historical neighbourhood.
The development will be surrounded by Buitengracht, Rose, Shortmarket and Longmarket streets in Cape Town’s CBD. The building will be mixed use, and will house shops, offices, apartments and host 310 basement parking bays.
There were over 1 000 objections to the development, and these reportedly were mainly from Bo-Kaap residents. The Municipal Planning Tribunal gave the project the go-ahead despite strong opposition from the neighbourhood. Twelve appeals were accepted for consideration by the Mayoral Advisory Panel, and a report on these were sent to then-mayor Patricia De Lille. She then accepted the recommendation that the appeals be rejected.
According to Judge Navsa, the appeals were largely based on “heritage concerns” and the location of the building.
“There can be no misgivings that heritage enjoyed a distinct degree of attention throughout the various stages of the application,” said Navsa. “The full range of countervailing interests were seriously and extensively engaged with.”