Ricochet News

Approximately 1400 Houses Planned For Gqebera Development

SEPTEMBER 15, 2014

The municipality is planning to build approximately 1 400 residences on erf 11 305 between the Walmer Country Club and now no-longer-used Arlington Racecourse.

The Background Information Document for the project, issued at the start of the environmental impact assessment, states that the low-cost housing and associated facilities and infrastructure will cater for “the overflow of residents currently living in informal settlements in the Walmer/Gqebera area.

It says the EIA process has been initiated to assist the municipality “in deter-mining the extent and significance of the environmental consequences associated with the proposed development”.

The documentation notes that the actual number of houses that will be construct-ed will depend on “the environmental and other constraints of the site and layout agreed to by the beneficiaries”.

The development will connect into existing bulk services infrastructure in the area.

It adds that issues of concern and “potential environmental and social impacts will be evaluated during the EIA process,” adding that the findings of the impact assessment, together with concerns raised by interested and affected parties will be forwarded to the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism for consideration.

The 43.7 hectares of land was purchased by the Provincial Department of Human Settlements for transfer to the municipality.

Erf 11 305 was one of a number of parcels of land initially identified for additional housing for the Gqebera community.

Other areas included the Walmer Country Club and racecourse, which is now viewed as a possibility for further housing development in the future as it is no longer used following the construction of an all-weather course at Fairview.

The timing of the start of construction will depend on the finalisation of the EIA and issuing of environmental authorisation by the department as well as the required funding.

Plans are also in place for the upgrading of other parts of Gqebera, with an item on the issue scheduled to be presented to the Human Settlements Committee later this week. - Metrominutes