Durban Point property development unveiled to club members
Plans for a Point Watersports Club (PWC), which developers say will be an attraction in itself, were unveiled to club members in Durban on Saturday.
A detailed plan of the proposed new development.
The Point Watersports Club, a consolidation of the Durban Ski Boat Club, Point Yacht Club, Durban Undersea Club and Durban Paddle Ski Club, held briefings on the revised plans at the respective clubhouses.
The club meetings followed a peace deal brokered this week, which saw the Durban Point Development Company (DPDC) and the Save Vetch's Association come to a compromise to develop a revised multimillion-rand waterfront development, which includes a hotel, luxury apartments and a small craft harbour.
The project had been blighted by a protracted legal impasse, which saw developers and opponents trading blows for nearly 10 years.
The DPDC, the Save Vetch's Association and the Durban Paddle Ski Club signed a new legal settlement after months of negotiations.
The agreement will allow developers to go ahead with the erection of a hotel and apartments at the mouth of Durban harbour, but prevents any development on Vetch's Pier reef and preserves a stretch of sandy beachfront.
An artist's rendering of the project.
In a joint press release issued by the DPDC and the PWC, project director Neels Brink said water sports had always been viewed as an integral part of the development.
"Their input was always invaluable in reaching a compromise settlement, as well as in the new designs for the club facilities and their integration into the waterfront," he said.
The new joint clubhouse will be at the foot of Vetch's Pier and members will be able to launch their boats directly from the beach.
The initial plan would have seen the sandy beach covered in concrete.
Brink said this compromise would lead to a development that would uphold Durban's reputation as the country's leading water sports centre.
"Throughout the engagement, and in reaching the final plan, the PWC acted in good faith. I thank the club members who have contributed positively to securing the future of their sports," he said.
"It will be multi-level and a unique feature will be access to the canal system within the Point Waterfront.
"Situated in the heart of the development, it is expected to become an attraction in itself," Brink said.
Hilton Kidger, of the Durban Ski Boat Club, expressed confidence in the new site.
"It heralds the start of a bright future for Durban's Point water sports. The multifunctional club site, coupled with security of tenure for the PWC, will enable the hosting of international events," he was quoted as saying.
Point Yacht Club's Trevor Donald said the club would be one of the first in Durban to own premises.
Cuane Hall, speaking on behalf of the Durban Underwater Club, said the site would cater for the growth of scuba diving excursions.
The remodelled development will feature a canal lock linking canals with the Indian Ocean. The basin will be fringed with mixed-use developments, from retail and office to hotel and residential.
"Restaurants at the water's edge should create a vibrant atmosphere and add to the work, live and play vision. Construction time frames will be released when the planning processes have been finalised," said Brink.