Plettenberg bay beach development raises objections

Environmentalists have objected to the proposed Plettenberg Bay small-boat harbour, saying intensive urbanisation of Central Beach will destroy the safest swimming beach in the town, the natural beauty of the area and suck the financial lifeblood out of the central business district.

If the R4-billion development, which has been 10 years in the making, goes bankrupt, maintenance of the harbour will fall to the Bitou municipality and ultimately also hit the pockets of already burdened ratepayers, they said.

The Plettenberg Bay Community Environmental Forum yesterday said it had lodged "the strongest possible objection" to the development.

Chairwoman Julie Carlisle said apart from changing the face of the popular tourist beach, it would destroy the safest swimming beach in Plett - a favourite for children and young people.
She said parking and traffic congestion on the narrow bridge that traverses the Piesang River would be hard to address without disturbing the natural beauty of the area.

The harbour development is proposed for Central Beach and runs into the mouth of the Piesang River, which meanders to the ocean alongside the Beacon Isle hotel.

The development by Western Cape Marina Investments includes residential blocks on both sides of the river and a commercial node on the beach front. "Developments of this nature carry a high financial risk. If it succeeds, it may well suck the life out of the CBD in the same way that the construction of a mall devastated the George CBD. If it fails, not unlikely in the current financial climate, tourism in Plett might be dealt a death blow," Carlisle said.

She said if the small boat harbour went bankrupt, the municipality would have to take over maintenance of the waterfront, which could "only be funded by the ratepayers".

The forum also raised concerns about proposals for seven-storey high buildings, both commercial and residential, along the river banks and beachfront, buildings situated below the 50-year flood line and the massive dredging that would be required to deepen the river mouth, affecting marine life.

Bitou municipality recently spent R30 million to build a desalination plant with intake wells in the river mouth. "Are we to assume that all that money was just wasted? What if we enter another drought, how do we cope?" Carlisle asked.

Mike Cohen, the Port Elizabeth consultant appointed to do the EIA, said the comments received during the public participation phase were being analysed so that they could be addressed in the scoping and environmental assessment phase. He said although he had not counted the number of initial responses, a large number of important issues had been identified, with "perhaps the major one being the height of the buildings and impacts on Central Beach".

(Cape Argus)

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 19 Feb 2018
      Possibly one of the biggest sources of contention between landlords and tenants surrounds the rental deposit. “Most tenants rely on getting their rental deposits back when moving, so that they can use it to pay a deposit on their new home. Having it withheld or even having large amounts deducted can lead to a lot of distress,” explains Bruce Swain, CEO of Leapfrog Property Group.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      Situated approximately halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria, Midrand was established in 1981 and forms part of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality. It has become one of the major business hubs in the country with major pharmaceutical, textile, telecommunication and motoring giants situated within its boundaries.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      The PayProp Rental Index Annual Review of 2017 shows that the rental market suffered from much volatility during the year. It kicked off with rental growth spiking in January with weighted year-on-year growth (YoY) growth peaking at 8.3% before dropping to 6.34% in July, dipping down to less than 5% in November and then experiencing a slight uptick at 5.75% in December.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      While most homes in cluster complexes, estates and other gated communities come with at least one garage or carport, residents would often like additional permanent parking or storage areas for things like trailers, bikes, boats and caravans.
    • 16 Feb 2018
      Whether you own a property in a sectional title complex or are looking to invest in one, the financial standing of the body corporate is the single most important thing that can affect your investment or your buying decision.
    • 15 Feb 2018
      One positive consequence of the financial crash in 2008 was the rise in consumerism, especially in the property market, where buyers have steadily become more knowledgeable and more value conscious.
    • 15 Feb 2018
      While most homeowners will take the agent’s commission into consideration when they are trying to determine what the will get out from the sale of their property, many often forget to factor in the other costs involved in a home sale, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 14 Feb 2018
      The forecast for the national rental market in 2018 remains a mixed bag of good news and bad news. Although rentals are expected to rise slowly as the challenges of home affordability and tighter lending criteria tighten their grip, it’s a double-edged sword as the market also will come under increasing pressure from factors like declining disposable income levels.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us