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Monday Jun 30, 2014

Neighbour irate over B&B owner appropriating access lane

Personal differences underpin a number of the complaints received by City Watch, as in the case of Donne Dunn of 25 Grove Crescent, Parkhill, Durban North, and her neighbour, B&B owner Bradley Potgieter.

According to Dunn, they are at odds over Potgieter's 'appropriation' of a servitude in the cul-de-sac where both live and the fact that Potgieter had created vehicular access to his home in Grove Crescent, while municipal plans showed his point of access as number 700 Chris Hani (formerly North Coast) Road only.

While he did not wish to elaborate in print, Potgieter told City Watch the two parties had not seen eye to eye for a long time.

He feels Dunn is being unreasonable and said he would 'very much like to have peace with her, and find a way forward that suits both of us'.

In her letter of complaint, Dunn said she had made 'numerous' calls to the roads department, requesting assistance.

She said Potgieter, whose back garden abuts her property, had broken down the back wall of his own property to create an entry from the crescent.

'He had to cross a public access lane to do so and incorporated that portion of the lane into his own property.

'He owns the North Lodge, and the traffic from people who use the lodge will have a negative impact on our formerly quiet cul-de-sac.'

When City Watch visited her, Dunn showed us a series of staggered 'steps' Potgieter had made from tyres filled with concrete, to divert the original common access lane to rejoin Grove Crescent, after appropriating a section of the path and converting it into a driveway to provide access to his property.

She said the changes he had made had caused huge problems with stormwater overflowing into properties below Grove Crescent.

Potgieter told City Watch he felt he had made improvements to the common access route. 'It was filthy and overgrown, and council workers were not maintaining it. I have cut back invasive alien trees and keep the undergrowth trimmed, so it is far safer to walk along now than it was before.'

He said he had felt it would take too long to get permission for the changes he had made, 'but if there is a fine payable, I am prepared to pay, because it was very hard to get in and out of my property from busy Chris Hani Road before'.

However, the city takes a dim view of what Potgieter has done without applying for permission to make alterations either to the servitude or the access to his property.

On Wednesday, and as a result of City Watch's intervention, Potgieter was issued with notification that the illegal access point to his home was to be closed off at once.

This has now been done, but Potgieter has submitted a lengthy motivation to the roads department, requesting that the decision be reconsidered.

He admitted to City Watch that he also does not have the official go-ahead to run a B&B on his extensive property.

Viv Attwood
City Watch
Sunday Tribune


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