PRESS STATEMENT BY JODY AUFRICHTIG
SPOKESPERSON FOR THE LIESBEEK LEISURE PROPERTIES TRUST (LLPT)
We are pleased to announce that the rezoning application for the River Club redevelopment in Observatory, Cape Town was unanimously approved by the Municipal Planning Tribunal on Friday, after considering submissions from the applicant, interested and affected parties as well as officials representing the City of Cape Town recommending the approval.
In an unequivocal victory for the people of Cape Town, the City approved the detailed redevelopment application, with Municipal Planning Tribunal members stating that the project was “desirable”, “sustainable”, “trend-setting”, a “win-win situation for the both the City and the public” and would result in a “catalytic development that is in the public’s interest”.
This is a major milestone in a comprehensive, open and transparent development approval process for the planned mixed-used development by the Liesbeek Leisure Properties Trust that has spanned four years. This catalytic and world-class project will convert the current underutilized private golf driving range, with limited public benefit, into a sustainable, inclusive and publicly accessible space for all Capetonians to enjoy as they live, work and play in the revitalized space.
The project will provide a range of socio-economic benefits for surrounding communities including the creation of 5 239 critical jobs during the construction phase and the provision of developer-subsidised inclusionary housing. It will also see the major rehabilitation of the current degraded, inaccessible private space, including the rehabilitation of the water courses, and will include 8.4 hectares of publicly accessible open areas – the equivalent of 13 soccer fields – and 6 kms of safe running and cycling pathways.
The redevelopment will also restore and celebrate the First Nations’ rich heritage and history through the creation of a first-of-its kind Heritage Cultural and Media Centre in the City of Cape Town. The centre will be operated by the First Nations and will provide critical job opportunities to members of these communities. The project will also include an indigenous medicinal garden, Heritage-Eco trail and garden amphitheatre for use by the First Nations and the general public.
The detailed rezoning application that was submitted to the Municipal Planning Tribunal for consideration included comprehensive and independent specialist reports that meticulously assessed the biodiversity, hydrology, socio economic, visual and heritage impacts of the project. This followed extensive public participation processes with interested and affected parties over many years.
Our project team has worked hard to deliver an exemplary redevelopment plan, and we welcome the decision by the City’s Municipal Planning Tribunal to give our River Club project the green-light after considering their extensive reports.
We are proud to be delivering an inclusive development that presents many exciting opportunities for the people of the Western Cape. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to grow jobs, and develop a beautiful and inclusive space that is accessible for all Capetonians to enjoy.