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Thursday Sep 24, 2015

Durban park turned into parking lot

Residents of flats surrounding Carpendale Park on Durban's North Beach are up in arms that the owners of the nearby Olive Convention Centre - and the soon to be opened Durban Ice Rink - have turned the park into a private parking lot.

Carpendale Park

The residents and Olive Convention Centre are to square off in court in November over the use of the park.

In the meantime, more than 1 000 residents have signed a petition against the use of the park for vehicle parking fearing that the last "green lung" in the area will be destroyed. In addition they fear that when the ice rink opens on Friday, the park will be open until midnight throughout the weekend when ice skaters converge on the precinct bringing with them increased noise levels.

Their worst fears were confirmed yesterday when the Olive Convention Centre used the park for "overflow parking" for delegates attending a medical scheme conference.

Mohammed Yunus, a trustee at the Exetar Hall flats, said that children and families used the park daily and turning it into a parking lot would bring down the tone of the area.

"When the ice rink opens on Friday we are going to have people parking here until midnight. The residents are not happy about this. Not only that but they are going to destroy the last green lung in this area," he said.

Colin Goldberg, chairman of San Remo flats, agreed.

He said that there was ample parking around the convention centre, along the beach and even at the old drive-in site 100 metres away that could be used for parking.

"Why do they have to turn our park, which children from a nursery school across the road run around in, into a parking lot? This is not what we expect from the municipality and this whole thing stinks of corruption," he said.

Aron Daniel, operations manager for the Olive Convention Centre, said their use of the park was above board and they had received the necessary permission from the municipality.

He invited concerned residents who gathered at the park yesterday to a meeting.

"We are open to discussions and we do not want you to be unhappy. We have applied to use this park and have all the documentation" he said.

According to a court order granted to Olive Marketing CC, the plaintiff in the court proceedings, up to 250 vehicles may be parked in Hoy and Carpendale Parks until the finalisation of the court case.

The first defendant is Eden Crescent Share Block and the second defendant is the eThekwini Municipality.

Tozi Mthethwa, head of communications for eThekwini Municipality said: "The plaintiff is permitted to use Hoy Park for his patrons to park their vehicles and in the event of any overspill, to utilise Carpendale Park.

This is a temporary arrangement that was agreed to by consent until the matter is back in court later this year. It has been further agreed with the plaintiff that no trees will be removed, the park will not be damaged or destroyed in any way and only a portion of the park will be used for parking.

"A site meeting will be held soon with the plaintiff and officials from eThekwini Municipality to demarcate the exact area of the park that will be utilised in case of a spillover".

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