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Thursday Jan 17, 2013

Tshwane residents to discuss 30-storey park-and-ride facility adjoining wetland

The proposed 30-storey park-and-ride facility in Colbyn will come under discussion at a public meeting tomorrow.

The meeting, organised by the Friends of the Colbyn Valley Group, is set to start at 6pm.

According to the group, the Colbyn Nature Valley contains a wetland and a peat land and is under serious pressure from development.

The group has been instrumental in the fight to protect the area and its scarce peat land.

It has also been actively involved in campaigning against the inclusion of the Colbyn Golf Driving Range into the Hatfield Node Urban Development Framework.

The driving range is intended to serve as a buffer from development to protect the environmentally sensitive valley.

Concerned Colbyn residents have previously called on the Tshwane Metro Council to reconsider plans for the new development on the edge of the nature reserve that pose danger to the endangered 5 000-year-old peat land and wetland.

The proposed park-andride facility could result in the relocation of the Colbyn Driving Range and the nearby bowling club.

The park-and-ride facility is part of the municipality's plans to turn Hatfield into a car-free zone.

Councillor Siobhan Muller said with the depletion of wetlands in the country on the rise, "it is critical that we protect our wetlands, and particularly the peat land".

"We live in a water-scarce country, though many do not appear to realise it," she said.

Muller - who submitted a petition to the metro council with more than 2 000 signatures - has previously stated that instead of forcing the existing facilities to relocate, the municipality could offer developers an open piece of land bordered by Pretorius, Stanza Bopape (Church) and End streets.

The open space is currently home to homeless people in the city.

Pretoria News

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