The Constantia Ratepayers’ and Residents Association was represented on the 11th May 2016 at Heritage Western Cape (HWC) when the Heritage Impact Assessment submitted by the owner and developer of Mount Prospect Farm in Pagasvlei Road to Heritage Western Cape’s Impact Assessment Committee was considered.

Heritage Western Cape was of the opinion that the development proposal (revised to 40 units) is not an appropriate response given the significance of the broader cultural landscape setting which includes Groot Constantia, the greenbelt, and the larger erven to the west which form a buffer to the rural landscape. The Committee referred to Mount Prospect as one of the mosaics of the landscape that are important in the cultural landscape and considered the site to be very unique, also as a remnant of early Constantia.

Heritage Western Cape recorded the following decision yesterday:

  • The development as proposed is unacceptable;
  • The visual impact assessment and any mitigations that may be proposed do not address the fundamental principle of development within the broader cultural landscape context which has not been taken into account and won’t be mitigated away;
  • There may even be an older building on the site and an archaeological investigation (also for Constantia early stone age) should be undertaken;
  • The comments of the Constantia Property Owners’ Association and other interested and affected parties including the Simon van der Stel Foundation were noted.

The outcome at this round at HWC is therefore a very positive one for the future of Mount Prospect farm.  This decision of Heritage Western Cape will now be submitted to the Department of Environmental Affairs and Planning.  It remains to be seen what the developers will choose to do but the message sent by Heritage Western Cape could not be clearer.