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Proposed development of Mount Prospect Retirement Village (Pagasvlei Road & Olive Close, Constantia)

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
When the late Stanley Allan Porter passed away in 2010 the farm accrued to his wife, Mrs. Jane Porter.
Mrs. Porter would now like to retire on the land and feels that the development of a retirement village would be the best way of achieving this. This project is being managed by Property Development Projects.
A preliminary ‘needs analysis’ conducted for Mount Prospect has indicated that there is a need for more ‘cluster housing’ in the Constantia Valley, particularly housing which caters for the needs of older residents who are either retired or are looking to downscale and stay within their current community.

PROJECT PROPOSAL
The applicant, Property Development Projects, proposes to establish a retirement village of some 60 detached homes on Erf2641 and 2643, which are located off Pagasvlei Road and Olive Close in Constantia. The development will include ancillary facilities such as an administration/entertainment centre, assisted living/medical centre and gym/coffee shop. There will also be internal roadways, and private and communal gardens, including protected stands of mature trees with heritage value.
The development proposal also includes a buffer area around a wetland, which has been identified on the site as the source area of the Pagasvlei Stream. The wetland and buffer have been incorporated into the design and layout of the development as private open space areas. A vegetated buffer will also be established along the development’s northern boundary with the historic Groot Constantia wine estate; and the design scheme of the development will be informed by the visual sensitivity of the Constantia area.
The proposed development site is currently used on a low- intensity basis as a horse livery. There remains a homestead building on the property, two barns as well as several outbuildings. Some of the buildings on the property have been identified as having heritage value and will therefore be conserved in the design and layout of the development proposal.

LEGISLATIVE CONTEXT
The development of the proposed retirement village requires Environmental Authorisation in terms of the National Environmental Management Act, Act No. 107 of 1998, as amended (NEMA). This is because the development proposal triggers an activity which is listed in terms of the NEMA Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”) Regulations of 2014:
The proposed development triggers Activity 19 of Listing Notice 1 contained in the 2014 EIA Regulations, which relates to works to be undertaken within a wetland.
In terms of the requirements of the EIA Regulations, a Basic Assessment process must be followed in order to apply for the required Environmental Authorisation. Sillito Environmental Consulting (SEC) has been appointed as the independent environmental assessment practitioner by the applicant to undertake this application process.

WHAT IS BASIC ASSESSMENT?
Basic Assessment is the process of identifying, assessing, mitigating and reporting the environmental impacts associated with an activity (social, economic and biophysical). This process is presented in report format and made available to the public for their input. Thereafter the reports are submitted to the competent authority for a decision on whether the proposed activity may proceed. In this case, the Provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, or “DEA&DP”, has been identified as the competent authority.
The Basic Assessment process includes a draft and a final phase, and the EIA Regulations make provision for public participation throughout the process.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PROCESS:

The Basic Assessment Report will be available from Monday 21st September – Friday 23rd October for review and comment. The report can be downloaded from the SEC website: http://www.environmentalconsultants.co.za/about/public-participation/

Alternatively, the report may be reviewed in hard copy at the Meadowridge Public Library:

Address: 30 Howard Drive, Meadowridge Tel: 021 712 9382 / 021 712 9383
Opening hours: Monday & Thursday 9:30 – 19:00 Tuesday: 9:00 to 18:00
Wednesday :00 – 17:00 Friday 11:00 – 17:00 Saturday 9:00 – 12:00

Any comments need to be received in writing (post, fax or email) by SEC by no later than 23rd October 2015.

If you would like to register as an interested and affected party (l&AP), please do so in writing, giving your name and contact details as well as an indication of your interest in this matter and of any direct business, financial, personal or other interest that you may have in relation to this proposal. Please quote the SEC project number, 015055, in all correspondence.
Registering as an l&AP should please be undertaken in writing, with correspondence addressed to Kirsty Robinson at Sillito Environmental Consulting:
Postal: P O Box 30134, Tokai, 7966
E-mail: kirsty@environmentalconsultants.co.za
Tel: (021) 712 5060
Fax: (021) 712 5061
Registering as an l&AP will entitle you to further project information, to be kept informed of project progress and provide you with an opportunity to comment on the reports compiled for this Basic Assessment application. Registered l&APs will be notified directly of the opportunity to comment on reports when they become available. Registered l&APs will also be advised of any further public participation activities, which will be undertaken to ensure that stakeholders’ issues, concerns and queries are fully addressed by the Basic Assessment process.

PLANNING CONTEXT
Currently, Erf 2643 and Erf 2641 are separate erven, each zoned for Single Residential use. To enable the proposed development to proceed, the two erven need to be consolidated and rezoned to General Residential Subzone 1: Group Housing (GR1 ). Planning Partners have been appointed by the applicant as the project town planners, and will undertake the required application for consolidation and rezoning in terms of the Land Use Planning Act {LUPA) and the City of Cape Town Municipal Planning By-Law of 2015.
The LUPA application process will commence in due course. This process is discrete from the Basic Assessment process, and will include its own public participation process. Although the LUPA application process is separate, however, the need and desirability of the development proposal in terms of the regional planning imperatives governing development in the Constantia area, which will be investigated in detail by Planning Partners, will be a key informant of the Basic Assessment process.

INDEPENDENT SPECIALIST INPUT
The planning stage of the development has identified sensitive environmental attributes of the site and surrounds. Therefore, the Basic Assessment process will need to include independent specialist input. The specialists will provide detailed baseline information on the environment, as well as provide an assessment of the potential impacts which the development proposal may have on the environment. The specialists will propose mitigation and management measures for incorporation into the life cycle of the development – from planning and design through to operation. These measures are aimed at ensuring that any potentially significant adverse impacts are avoided; and that opportunities for benefits such as wetland rehabilitation, are maximized.
Specialists who will be contributing to the Basic Assessment process, based on the environmental sensitivities identified, include heritage, visual and freshwater specialists. The traffic engineers and civil engineers appointed as part of the development team will also play a key role in ensuring that the development does not impact adversely on the municipal infrastructure services network.
SEC looks forward to receiving written requests for registration as an l&AP from any parties wishing to raise issues, concerns or queries on the development proposal. Registered l&AP’s will be notified in writing of the opportunity to comment on the Draft Basic Assessment Report once it has been compiled in due course, and of the opportunity to participate in any further public participation activities.