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Monday Feb 03, 2014

Joburg council must reconsider Lonehill building plan

Joburg authorities must reconsider the building plans of a Lonehill resident, which his neighbour says is depriving him of his place in the sun.

An unhappy Alexander Morrison, of Unit 6, San Chiara Estate, turned to the Pretoria High Court in a bid to stop the owner of Unit 5, Gabriel Marx, from proceeding with putting a second storey on his home.

Morrison said this would deprive his property of sunlight, and he asked Judge John Murphy for an order setting aside the decision of the City of Joburg, which approved Marx's building plans.

In October 2012, the court interdicted Marx from proceeding with his building operations pending Morrison's review application.

The trouble started around 2010, when Marx decided he wanted to extend his home by 85m² by making it a double storey.

The estate where the two live has 17 units. Judge Murphy said that from the site development plan it was evident that each property was placed in such a way as to give the adjacent properties a corridor of open space to allow for light and some outlook.

Morrison told the court that if a double-storey structure was built, it would obstruct sunlight from reaching his outside entertainment areas and obscure his view. According to Morrison, extensions next door would also reduce the value of his home by about R500 000.

The city's response to Morrison's gripes was that Marx's property already casts a shadow over Morrison's entertainment area and that this should be expected in a dense urban environment where properties are smaller and people have to live in close proximity.

The structure would come within 1.22m of Morrison's building line, for which the council gave permission.

Morrison is appealing this decision with the council, but as the building plans had also been approved, he turned to the court.

Judge Murphy said the city had to reconsider this decision, but only after the issue regarding the relaxation of the building line had been determined.

The Star


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