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Monday Sep 15, 2014

Greyville Tennis Club property falling apart

A dilapidated Greyville Tennis Club property in Durban's Morningside has angered adjoining property owners.

The dilapidated tennis courts at the Greyville Tennis Club, owned by the eThekwini Municipality.

The courts at the lower end of Montpelier Road are, once again, falling apart. This is an ongoing problem with repairs being undertaken, after which damage occurs.

'The little house's roof slates have been removed and the fence facing Argyle Road has collapsed. I know the ANC uses this site for functions so it's municipal land. Who is responsible for the upkeep? Now vagrants have made a cardboard hut and have taken up residence on the property,' she said.

Investigations by City Watch revealed plans for a 12-storey building to be erected on vacant land adjacent to the tennis courts. It is unclear if the property with the tennis courts will be included in the new development.

Ward councillor Martin Meyer said he had been trying to get the city to fix the courts for a long time.

'Since 2011 I have been engaging with the parks department. I sent an e-mail last week regarding this issue and they said they will send someone to fix the fence. There are a lot of vagrants living there. We can continue patching it up but we need more sports facilities in the city, not less while this site lies derelict. This problem needs a long-term solution,' he said.

Meyer said a new development was approved by Full Council last month for a mixed use building to be built next to the Greyville Tennis Club.

'There will be two floors for basement parking, two floors for shops and another two floors for offices. The rest will be flats. We had over 50 objections from residents against the building but it was approved by the town planning committee. The DA voted against it. When it went to the executive committee, the DA voted against it again and then again when it was brought to Full Council but it was still approved. There are claims that the DA wants to keep the area how it was in the 1950s which is not true,' he said.

'We are concerned that Argyle Road is already straining under the traffic and won't be able to handle the increased traffic volumes with the new building. Also, the storm water drainage is dated and already battling to cope with the current demand. We are also concerned that it will affect property prices as most of the homes in the area are one or two storeys.'

He said residents were losing faith in the process because it yielded nothing. 'Their comments are ignored. Residents are feeling hard done by as the public participation process is not working,' Meyer said.

eThekwini Municipality communications head Tozi Mthethwa confirmed that the tennis courts in Montpelier Road belonged to the city but is currently leased to a private tennis club.

'The Parks, Leisure and Cemeteries Department is responsible for the maintenance of the tennis courts. However, funds for this purpose are limited. The municipality has received proposals to convert the existing courts to a more active recreational facility. These proposals are being evaluated in terms of our sport and recreation policies.'

Regarding the damage to the fence she said they were awaiting the proposals for the site to be approved to avoid incurring fruitless expenditure.

Sunday Tribune


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