Province to investigate Kalk Bay restaurant extensions
The Western Cape government is investigating whether the outdoor extensions at the Brass Bell restaurant at the Kalk Bay public tidal pool contravenes national environmental law after city officials have lodged a complaint.
Last month, the Kalk Bay Ratepayers' and Residents' Association cried foul over the erection of an outdoor deck on the public beach and a door built on the walkway between Kalk Bay Harbour and the train station.
Residents complained that no public consultation took place and feared the public's access to the pools and along the walkway would be restricted after the owner of the Brass Bell put up "private property" signs around the beach area.
Darryl Colenbrander, a city coastal co-ordinator from the environmental resource management department said the city has asked provincial government to investigate whether the extensions at the Brass Bell contravene the National Environmental Management Act.
He said that following an inspection, they believe that activities on the property fall within the 100m high water mark of the sea and would therefore flout the law if no environmental authorisation was granted.
He said the owner of the Brass Bell would have had to apply for such authorisation from the province.
Brass Bell owner Tony White had said previously that he had leased the land from its owners, the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa).
He had been granted approval to build a kitchen and the deck and had said that he would not deny the public access to the tidal pools, while the door along the walkway would only be locked at night to protect his assets.
Residents called the move by Prasa and the Brass Bell a "takeover" and "privatisation" of the local beach and tidal pool area.
Prasa and White said no public participation process took place as the land was privately owned.
Henry Masimla, manager of Prasa's corporate real estate division, said no environmental impact study or authorisation was requested or granted as Prasa deemed the changes as minor work.
He said the area where the changes were made was previously neglected and underused and that Prasa was happy with the improvements on the property.
Aziel Gangerdine, spokesman for the provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Development planning, confirmed that they are investigating the complaint that construction has taken place within the 100m high water mark from the sea close to the tidal pool.
Posted at 09:10AM Jan 15, 2013 by Editor in Cape Town |