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Huddle muddle after mix-ups by City & public

  • Israel Sheep
Huddle Park development: Last word not spoken. A controversial development of 450 houses and a small shopping and office centre alongside the Huddle Park golf course in Johannesburg, is scheduled to be settled on September 30. But it seems that there is some confusion among the public and that the City of Johannesburg has apparently not met the statutory requirements in terms of notifying all objectors about the times and dates of the meetings next Wednesday, on the Investec development.
by ANT KATZ | Sep 25, 2015

Wendy Carroll, secretary of protest group the HEAD League, this week circulated a document headlined: “Danger to Huddle Park”, warning residents of Linksfield, Senderwood and surrounding areas that this may be their last chance to intervene.

The town planning processes have been completed and been signed off by City Council and what is currently taking place is the finalisation of the development planning processes.

But there would appear to be some confusion between Investec's proposed development of the 450 homes, for the mid- to upper-income groups, and a low-cost municipal property development across George Avenue, travelling towards Edenvale, on Swemmer Road.

Wednesday’s meeting may, however, not be as “final” as predicted due to a seemingly administrative oversight by the City Council.

“Some people who objected have not received the required notification of Wednesday's meeting,” the ward councillor, Steven Kruger told Jewish Report on Thursday this week.

Carroll made an emotional appeal. ”Do you know that a developer has applied to establish a township on Huddle Park so as to build: 450+ housing units; offices; (and) a shopping centre?” She asks residents of the area.

”Do you know the Johannesburg City Council supports this proposed “development”?

”Do you know that a site inspection and hearing required by law to establish a township will be held at Huddle Park on... September 30 at 09:30?

“Would you like to keep Huddle Park as it is now, and have a public open space instead of this development? If so, show up in the Huddle Park car park on September 30 and have your say.”

Most of the three-development approvals have already been obtained. These include: establishing that the site is not a wetland; commissioning and having approved an environmental impact study; and a traffic impact study.

The present town-planning process has all-but been completed, save for the statutory requirement of holding a public meeting regarding the development planning process and the subsequent approval by the Council. It is these two items, which the developers are hoping will pass next Wednesday.


STORY CONTINUES BELOW MAP

Huddle FULLb

ABOVE: There appears to be some confusion over exactly what is planned, as can be seen by the JR illustration alongside. Before the Huddle Park golf course was privately upgraded several years ago, the city had already accepted in principle an Investec bid for the remainder of the land which has been unused for many years while rezoning and impact assessments have been taking place  -  
MAP COURTESY GOOGLEMAPS


After next Wednesday’s public meeting at the site, the proceedings will move to the Civic Centre in Braamfontein, where the matter of the development will be put to a vote of the City Council. This meeting will be open to the public - as observers.

Jewish Report understands that once Council approval has been obtained, the development’s contractors could be on site within weeks.

The main concerns of objectors to the development, are:

 It is understood that the objections fall into two main subjects:

  • The loss of public open space in an area which has always been viewed as a “green lung” for the north-eastern section of the city - although the environmental impact study has established that the area is not a historical wetland; and
  • That the already-overburdened traffic along Club Street will not cope with the additional vehicles. The city's roads department has already conducted a traffic impact study which, according to Councillor Kruger has found that that the area's roads would be able to handle the additional traffic.

Anyone wishing to enquire about further details can contact “The Huddle Park and Environs Anti-Degradation League NPC” which is a nonprofit. The HEAD League is a nonprofit company which since 1998 has fought to keep massive developments off Huddle Park and preserve it as public open space. Mail: [email protected]

5 Comments

  1. 5 Hilary stern 27 Sep
    its a wet land, besides being a green lung. This fight has been going on for many years. One wonders what goes on behind the scenes!F
  2. 4 Alys 27 Sep
    Your map is incorrect. Both Huddle and the new Investec development are further south of Victoria Road and the low cost housing development is wedged south east between Club and GeorgeAve/Modderfontein Rd extending all the way to the highway east and south to Linksfield nursery and the shopping centre below it. 
    The areas are huger than the map suggests
  3. 3 anthony 28 Sep
    the map is NOT to scale and the blocks are not the right areas. they are,hopefully,diagrammatic. As to the traffic situation, its just like Louis Botha Ave, JRA and the council want, and the residents DO NOT come into their equation. They want it and they will get it. After all, the ANC owns south africa and they want their stamp on every thing to show they can do it . like SANDF,SAA,ESKOM.SARS,Transet,water affairs and every incompetent corupt cANCer municipality in SA. 
  4. 2 ANT KATZ 30 Sep
    Mia culpa from a red-cheeked online editor:

    There are no gremlins to be blamed here. The error was purely on my own part and as a result of my ignorance.
    Truth be told, I did not realise that the section of road from the intersection of George Avenue and Northfield, down the depth and up to the main Club Street intersection is also called Club Street and in the rush to get this item posted before Shabbat, it was I who created the incorrect map.
    I will generate and insert a corrected map this morning and will report back on the meeting in the course of the week.

    ANT KATZ – [email protected] 
  5. 1 Sabina 26 May
    Hi. I hear that you are building in beautiful nature, Huddle Park. I'm not saying that I am going to stop you building. But I am saying you have to realize what you are doing. I'm Mila, I'm a kid. I am 7. And I loved that area. I used to run there. There was one tree that me and my cousin moved to play on. We used to swing there. When my cousin Ciara saw the fence, she said "Well maybe they will say sorry. She cried. I just want you to be aware of how much you are harming nature. I used to walk my dog there and have so much fun. I just wanted to tell you. I am crying as I say this. I hope you make the right decision. 

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