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Wednesday Dec 04, 2013

Regulator halts property development close to Cape Town's Koeberg

The national nuclear regulator says no more property development can take place near Koeberg because of fears that people could not be evacuated quickly in an emergency.

Planning applications running into millions of rand have been put on hold or flagged as a concern. This includes the R140-billion Wescape mega-development on the N7, about 37km outside Cape Town, which falls within the red zone - a 16km radius of the power plant. Plans for this mixed-use development would include housing for about 800 000 people.

'The safety of the population and the opportunity of achieving public housing imperatives should be balanced in the evaluation of development applications located in the Koeberg nuclear power station surrounds,' said Annelise de Bruin, of the city's spatial planning and development directorate, in a report submitted to council today for consideration.

The city has put 18 private developments on hold for the past two years as these regulations were drafted. Many of these applications fell within the 0-5km precautionary action zone and the 5-16km urgent protective action zone.

The city's plan for social housing projects in Atlantis and Melkbos, which combined would provide more than 30 000 housing units, have also been in abeyance.

De Bruin said these developments and 'associated influx of population of lower income groups' placed a larger burden on disaster risk management and the demand for public transport in an evacuation.

But De Bruin said the regulator had advised the city against approving any development applications between now and July 2016 that could increase the population and extend the evacuation time in a disaster.

Cape Argus

    
 

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