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Friday Feb 24, 2012

Carlisle releases mock-up of Chapmans Peak toll plaza

New images of the planned Chapman's Peak Drive toll plaza have been released today, showing what the controversial project will look like when complete.

An artist's impression of the toll plaza from the Noordhoek side.

While debate rages around whether the project is necessary or appropriate, Transport and Public Works MEC Robin Carlisle released the "real-to-life 3D modelling drawings of the Chapman's Peak Drive tolling operation so that we could see for ourselves exactly how this building will look".

"Previous artists' impressions and models lacked colour, perspective, and the surrounding scenery," he said.

"We have decided to make these drawings public as they provide an opportunity to get a true sense of what is being constructed on Chapman's Peak, as opposed to the luxury concrete monstrosity depicted in certain media."

An artist's impression of the toll plaza from the Hout Bay side.

The images, which will appear on the provincial government's website today, are intended to illustrate what Premier Helen Zille said in a recent response to the Civil Rights Action Group (Crag) - that by contrast to "the current eyesore stack of disused shipping containers", the new station was "built from natural materials, recessed in a disused quarry and landscaped, including roof planters, to blend with its surroundings".

The latest images were produced by "an independent structural and civil engineering company", Carlisle's office said.

In her response to Crag, Zille also said of the buildings: "Characterising the control centre, which consists of about 440m² of office space and 170m² of stores and maintenance facilities, as a gigantic luxury office block has been one of the most misleading elements of the recent debate over Chapman's Peak Drive.

A bird's eye view of the proposed complex.

The building was designed to be functional and efficient and as unobtrusive as possible, while providing dignified and secure working conditions for staff. It will replace the current unsafe and uncomfortable eyesore."

In a letter a few weeks ago on behalf of the Hout Bay Residents' Association, lawyers told the provincial government, SA National Parks and toll concessionaire Entilini that part of the land earmarked for construction of the plaza had a title deed restriction on it.

The restriction meant that the land could be used by SA National Parks only for conservation purposes in terms of the old National Parks Act, now the Protected Areas Act.

They say their clients are not aware of any move to alter the title deed restriction as required by the Removal of Restrictions Act.

Entilini responded it would continue construction since it had contractual obligations.

Click here for the latest artist's impression of the toll plaza

Cape Argus

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