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Tuesday Oct 06, 2020

"No high-rise," say irate Joburg residents

The upmarket suburbs of Melrose and Birdhaven are under siege from developers.

The iHlathi Melrose-Birdhaven Conservancy is constantly opposing applications for high-storey developments in these areas, which are next to the busy Rosebank node which is fast running out of commercial space.

Residents recently scored a victory when an application by Century Property Developments to construct a sky-deck over the M1 at the Atholl-Oaklands intersection, on a wetland, was withdrawn following an outcry by residents.

Now there has been an application for an office tower in the middle of Birdhaven, next to two schools.

The conservancy submitted an objection in April last year to this application asking for a house to be turned into an office block at the corner of St Andrew Street and Wingfield Avenue in Birdhaven, opposite Riviera Nursery School.

The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at 9.30am on site, at 46 Wingfield Avenue. There is also a proposal for a six-storey development at the corner of Tyrwhitt and Jameson avenues in Melrose. Objections ended on September 23, but the Melrose Ratepayers' Association took the lead in objecting. The proposed features are:

  • A six-storey apartment building;
  • Basement parking or above-ground parking (which would increase the height to above six storeys);
  • Up to 100% building coverage of the site area;
  • Includes an application for a hotel and on-site liquor consumption licence.

    The application is for purely speculative purposes – in 2018, the current owners entered into an agreement
    of sale with a property developer, in terms of which the developer would take ownership upon the successful rezoning of the land.

    Said iHlathi chairperson Markus Scheuermaier: "The council intends to turn our neighbourhood into a high-rise one with no consideration for residents, our environment, or available infrastructure."

    The Star Early Edition 2 Oct 2020

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