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Thursday Feb 28, 2013

Plans for controversial Princess Vlei mall clears another hurdle

The proposed shopping mall on the shores of Cape Town's Princess Vlei wetlands has taken another step forward.

This despite the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance saying objections by surrounding communities were being ignored.

Mayco member for economic, environmental and spatial planning Garreth Bloor said the City of Cape Town and the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning had finalised the conditions for the development of the mall, should it go ahead.

The land in question, however, still belonged to the city and had to undergo a public participation process before it was sold.

The province had done what was required of it, said Bloor.

"The city is committed to following due process and ensuring that all views are considered in the public participation process."

Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell had signed the approved conditions on February 14 and it had been handed to the applicant, Insight Developers, said Bredell's spokesman, Aziel Gangerdine.

Many of the community's concerns had been considered, said Gangerdine.

He said the matter was now in the city's hands.

But Phillip Bam, secretary of the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance - an umbrella body of Cape Town community organisations and ratepayers associations, said Bredell had not considered the surrounding communities' objections.

There had been an outcry from surrounding communities and thousands of residents had signed a petition against the proposed shopping mall.

Bam said the communities wanted the space to be developed "as an eco park and memory park instead of a shopping mall".

He hoped people would raise their concerns during the upcoming public participation process before the land could be sold to Insight Developers.

The city had to be "sensitive to the cultural significance of the area and respond in a way that will not alienate the community", Bam said.

Cape Times

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