By Dominic Adriaanse

Housing activists have hailed the city’s Municipal Planning Tribunal’s (MPT) approval for the first inclusionary housing in Sea Point, spatial planning and environment. 

The tribunal for the North West District approved a land use application for a new skyscraper in Sea Point by developer Berman Brothers Group.

The proposal put forward was to retain 20% of the 140 flats as affordable housing. In effect, 28 new flats, each between 35m² to 39m², will be reserved for rental to households whose monthly income is less than R18 000.

The development for the 18-storey residential building is located at the intersection of Main Road and Kloof Road, Sea Point. Former Ndifuna Ukwazi’s co-director Jared Rossouw said the MPT’s decision was a milestone for inclusivity in the CBD. “What makes this decision so remarkable was that the tribunal had overruled the city planner, who opposed the proposal because of the height of the building.

“The tribunal’s argument was that the development was desirable in the local context and not out of place. If you would consider someone travelling on a ship overlooking Sea Point, the building would be within the skyline.

“If there is going to be density in the CBD, we say make it inclusive.”

Rossouw said the next step is for the developer to apply to the City that would issue notices. He said at this stage only an objector or applicant could appeal the MTP’s decision and it was likely the Sea Point Ratepayers would [object].

The Sea Point, Fresnaye and Bantry Bay ratepayers and residents association was unable to comment. “The city notes the decision and has no further comment at this stage,” mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, Marian Nieuwoudt, said.

Former urban development and transport mayoral committee member Brett Herron said, “This Sea Point development is an example of the willingness of private developers to pursue an inclusionary housing approach.”

Source: first published by Independent Online on 14 March 2019