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Friday Aug 24, 2012

Sea Point promenade property development up for consideration again

A lobby group that has waged a 13-year battle against developments on the Sea Point promenade has warned that plans to replace the pavilion and swimming pools with hotels and a mall are set to be revived next month.

Sea Front for All (Seafa) vicechairwoman Lorna Levy says construction company On Track Developments is planning to submit an environmental impact assessment (EIA) before September 18, the expiry date for the EIA it had done in 2007.

On Track's lawyer, Edwin Peterson, refused to deny or confirm the plan and referred the matter to his client, who could not be reached.

Levy said: "The developers are poised to destroy open space in the name of development. This has happened without any notice to the public or residents."

The row between Seafa and On Track Developments began in 1999 when the company proposed to develop the pavilion. In 2004, the then-MEC for planning and environment, Tasneem Essop, gave the go-ahead for the development.

The then-city council also gave the company the nod for the development.

Seafa then challenged the provincial and local governments and won both cases in the Western Cape High Court.

On Track took its case to the Supreme Court of Appeal, but the court dismissed its application last year.

The mayoral committee member for economic, environmental and spatial planning, Belinda Walker, said no new EIA submission had yet been made by On Track Developments.

"Public participation is important and any development is unlikely to go ahead if the public is unhappy.

"We are committed to upholding the public participation component, and any application submitted for any development will be treated the same."

Cape Times

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