SkyscraperCity Forum banner

#Corner Montpelier/Cowey - 14F - Mixed Use - Morningside | Approved

3354 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  dysan1
This proposal seems to be causing a fair bit of controversy...

Morningside residents say no to proposed development

A proposed development in Morningside has upset residents.
Lauren Walford | 16 April 2014
Be the first to comment

MORNINGSIDE residents are objecting to a proposed commercial development at the Reservoir site at the intersection of Montpelier and Problem Mkhize (Cowey) Roads.

According to dismayed resident, Janet Morgan, this is a heritage site and is zoned residential.

“The proposed development has underground parking, first level shops then three floors of offices and eight floors of apartments. The owner of the plot has a height restriction of two stories. The people in the area are objecting to this monstrosity. The traffic department said that the traffic of more than 500 cars is fine for Montpelier Road, but we disagree,” she said.

Janet said residents were very disturbed that greed had prompted this proposal, at their expense. “We also feel Morningside has more than enough shops, restaurants, boutiques, coffee shops, the list is endless. I have sent an e-mail to council, stating that we will object. The noise levels will certainly de-value properties,” she said.

Ward councillor, Martin Meyer, said the rezoning process was slow and complicated. “At this early stage of the process, councillors are expected to remain neutral, as not to influence the process. Residents have 30 days to submit their objections or support in writing

to Land Use Management (LUM). I suggest these are hand delivered or sent by registered post. The application and objections are then looked at by a committee of LUM, which will suggest that it is approved or rejected. From here it goes to the Town Planning sub-committee,

that is a sub-committee of council. It is at this stage that a ward councillor gets involved, making sure the voices of residents are heard. They look at the application and recommendation and then vote on it. From there it goes through the Economic Development Committee to EXCO, and from EXCO to full council.”

Meyer said he was a firm believer that politicians’ involvement in this process was too strong. “Too often do we see the recommendation of the experts and the objections of residents ignored by those with a majority vote in the committee for whatever reason. National laws are however in the pipeline to rectify this matter. I have visited the LUM office, and looked at the application. I am aware that ward 27, like the rest of the city, is in need of job creation and development, but the well-being of residents is also of great importance. The impact on traffic, safety and security, pollution and property prices should also be kept in mind,” he said.

If residents e-mailing objections, they should cc councillor Meyer at [email protected]
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
yet another high rise and yet another push back by the ward leader and over 50 residents. They specifically say they are not against the densification plan for the Berea, yet have now challenged 4 developments across the Berea. 4 rather different developments and none of them are seen as "the right type of densification". I would love to know what is then?

This site is on highly trafficked Arglye Road, right near loads of other commercial development and just a road back from Florida Road. it makes sense for densification.

Council gives high-rise green light

The rezoning of a property in Sandile Thusi Road was approved at a full council meeting last week.

Lauren Walford | 3 September 2014 10:00

eTHEKWINI's ANC-strong council thumbed its nose at Morningside residents when it voted in favour of the rezoning of a property in Sandile Thusi (Argyle) Road for the development of a high rise building. Neighbouring residents had lodged a number of objections to the rezoning application, but these were largely ignored by council who gave the proposal a green light at last week's monthly council meeting.

Ward councillor Martin Meyer spoke on behalf of residents at the meeting, but to no avail as the application was passed by a majority ANC vote.

“The chair of Town Planning again accused residents of wanting to keep the area as it was in the 1950s, and of thinking flats would bring criminals to the area,” said Meyer.

Meyer said once more, councillors were being asked to ignore the expressed wishes of residents and approve a development.

“Once more we are to ignore the impact on traffic, on quality of life, on resident’s lives, and approve a development. Once more we hear political grandstanding using vague rhetoric on why approving this development is a good idea. This is a 12-storey development, mixed use, including shops, restaurants, bottle stores and others, in a residential area that consists mostly houses and one- and two-storey developments. We are asked to approve a development totally against what currently exists. And this on a major traffic route that is already struggling to cope with the traffic in an area where the aging infrastructure is under severe pressure,” he said.

He said he had invited councillors to drive through the area and see for themselves that it was one of the most multi-cultural areas in this city. “The more than 50 objections came from people of all groups, people who were not trying to preserve the past, but the future, a future for their children that led them to this area,” he said.

“We hear the normal story about how this is all about densification, and how that is benefitting the people living far away. The truth is, like the Poyton Place development, this will not benefit the poor. This will not assist people to live closer to their employment, this will be expensive apartments that will ultimately only benefit the developer. The DA and the people of Ward 27 are not against densification, but this type of densification makes no sense,” he said.

Meyer said the city should be looking at restoring the CBD by fixing the various derelict buildings, by pulling down the empty shells all over the inner city and developing it, therby creating decent and affordable homes for people close to their places of work.
^^What is up with some Durbanites? Why is every SINGLE development being bogged down by nimbies? This is not on
  • Like
Reactions: juanw
It's not a durban thing. The hoops developers need to jump through on densification anywhere is always a nightmare. Green point, Newlands and Rosebank and generally no different. The difference here is that the city has stated clearly the entire berea will be densities. Seems many of the residents are only noticing now. The problem is it is already a dense area and apartments are the norm so it should not be so surprising for them
I work on Cowey Road, and I feel a mixed-used development in this location would strengthen the link between the Florida Road and Cowey Road nodes, which are pretty much the same type of mixed-use zone, only Florida Road is more dense and vibey, and Cowey Road is more corporate.

Densification of established areas is key to controlling sprawl. I secretly disagree with Cornubia, as this is more than likely going to drain the little that is left of the struggling CBD.
Disagree on cornubia. The main scope of it is more industrial and resi and expansion of the new town. We need functioning mixed use communities in new areas too
Thursday Sep 25, 2014

Old reservoir at centre of property rezoning battle

A Victorian underground reservoir with majestic pillars and a barrel vault roof is in the middle of a rezoning battle between the developer, Alan Burke, and residents of Morningside, Durban

Whether or not this underground reservoir, built in the 1800s, is of any historical value will be determined by KwaZulu-Natal's heritage agency, Amafa.

More than 50 residents have objected to the rezoning of the property on the corner of Problem Mkhize (Cowie) and Sandile Thusi (Argyle) roads from 'maisonette 650' (intermediate density) to 'mixed used zone' (residential and commercial), but the eThekwini Municipality granted the rezoning on August 29, giving the objectors 28 days to appeal against the decision.

One objector, Greg Wallis, said he was not opposed to the proposed 14-storey development, but he did not want 'a great part of Durban's history to be lost because they would have to demolish the reservoir to put in the foundation for the new building'.

The provincial heritage body, Amafa, denied knowledge of the ornate structure.

Ros Devereux, the head of Amafa's built environment section, said they had asked the eThekwini Municipality 'to provide more information with a view to permanently protecting the tank'.

'Currently it is generally protected as it is a structure older than 60 years of age and it is an archaeological site of more than 100 years of age. A permit from Amafa will be required for any alteration to the structure, even if the new building is built over the structure without directly affecting it,' said Devereux.

She said further investigation would reveal whether the proposed development would be contravening the Heritage Act. However, the development may not be prevented if mitigation measures are put in place to protect the heritage resource.

The former eThekwini head of water and sanitation, Neil Macleod, said the reservoir was built in the 1800s when the city was much smaller.

'It was abandoned when the water demand grew. I think that must have been more than 60 years ago because, when I joined the municipality 40 years ago, it was no longer in use,' he said.

Burke, who is a major Durban property owner, said he was planning to turn the reservoir into basement parking and disputed that it had heritage value.

He said his plans to develop the property had been interrupted twice by neighbours who objected to the rezoning.

'I bought the property from the municipality 20 years ago and tried to build a two-storey office building, but they (neighbours) objected. They now want to put some heritage value to a disused reservoir to try and stop me again,' he said.

The development will have two levels of parking, shops, restaurants and flats.

'The two-level parking will provide some relief to Florida Road because that place becomes heavily congested during peak hours,' said Burke.

Burke is the founder and chairman of ARB Electrical Wholesalers, one of the top three electrical wholesalers in South Africa.

He owns numerous properties around Durban and has made it to the Sunday Times rich list as one of the richest people in the country.

Montpelier Road resident Nicky Burke (no relation to the developer) said she was shocked that eThekwini would sacrifice part of Durban's history so that 'the developer could make more money'.

Save our Berea's Cheryl Johnson said it would be a travesty if 'this treasure' were to be demolished.

She expressed her disappointment that eThekwini ignored the plea of the objectors, including ward councillor Martin Meyer, to restore the underground structure as either an art gallery or a museum.

'This is part of our history and it would be a shame if we lost it just because someone wanted to build a high-rise building,' she said.

Meyer said he hoped that Amafa would not delay its investigation.

Objectors have until October 8 to submit their appeals about the rezoning. The municipality has not yet answered questions on the reservoir.

The Mercury

Posted at 09:24AM Sep 25, 2014 by Editor in Durban
I wonder how many of these people knew about this when objecting... It has not been mentioned once before as historic. If it is indeed a gem why has it never been mentioned over the past 20 years??
  • Like
Reactions: juanw
I can understand the objections but that plot has pretty much been wasteland so some sort of development would surely be welcome. However that is a really ugly, chunky block so I'd prefer to see something that's more in line with the feel of the area and would actually enhance it.
i think we will really need to see clearer renders to give a full view on it. we cant currently see street interaction, public space etc
looks pretty cool but like many of you said, if it were that important, people would have heard about it.
Anyone heard anymore on this one?
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.