PROPOSED CIRCULATORY TRAIL AND THE UPGRADING OF ASSOCIATED FACILITIES AT PRINCESS VLEI, RETREAT / GRASSY PARK

A draft BAsic Assessment Report has been compiled and made available for a 30-day commenting period. The commenting period commences on 13 November 2019 and closes on 13 December 2019. Should you wish to provide comment on the draft report and/or register as an Interested and Affected Party (I&AP), you may do so by emailing: comments@enviropart.co.za, telephone: 021 422 0999, fax: 021 422 0998, or by post: P O Box 945, Cape Town, 8000. Please provide comment or register as an I&AP by 13 December 2019.

 



INTRODUCTION

This Basic Assessment Report (BAR) serves as documentation in support of an Environmental Impact Assessment being undertaken for a circulatory trail at Princess Vlei in Grassy Park, and the upgrading of associated facilities adjacent to Princess Vlei. The site is bound by Retreat and Southfield to the west and north, respectively. Prince George Drive, running east and south of the study area separates the study area from the Grassy Park residential area. Please see Locality Map attached

The City of Cape Town, the proponent, wishes to develop a circulatory trail abutting Princess Vlei which includes walkways, cycle paths, sidewalks and trail paths. In this proposal, the upgrading of the Princess Vlei Eco Centre is included, located west of the vlei.

PROPOSAL


The Princess Vlei is recognised by the City of Cape Town as a valuable natural and recreational resource that should be retained and enhanced over time. The vision for Princess Vlei and environs is to establish an “inclusive, people-orientated, multi-use” area which considers the natural environment, heritage value, diverse opportunities, public activity and enjoyment. The following is proposed in this application.

Circulatory trail:
The trail was identified as a need within the community and the CoCT to allow for improved access and use of the area around the vlei inclusive of walking, park-run events, recreational activities and religious activities. The circulatory trail includes a combination of formal secondary pathways, bridges and boardwalks. The length of the circular trail is approximately 4835 metres and varies in width. The trail consists of a combination of materials: laterite, gravel, sand, interlocking pavers and timber boardwalks. The boardwalk will be a pedestrian wooden bridge where the vlei is to be crossed. A customised jetty is proposed for the area where religious groups use the vlei for baptism activities. This is to make it safer for these activities.

Princess Vlei Eco Centre
The works proposed at the Eco Centre are to enhance the existing activities on the site. The proposal will include the extension of the existing dormitory area by approximately 180m2, construct a parking/multipurpose court and upgrade the obstacle course.

ALTERNATIVES

On the southwestern edge of the circulatory track, a portion of the trail route has two options. The first option hugs the edge of the delineated wetland and the second option is further southwest, following the current informal footpath.

 

LEGISLATION


The proposed development involves several activities that require environmental authorisation in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (107 of 1998), as amended, and the 2014 Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, as amended (GN No. 326 of 2017). These include:

Listing Notice 1 (GN No. 983 of 2014), as amended:

 - Activity 19 - which refers to the infilling and depositing of any material in excess of 10 cubic metres into, or the dredging, excavation, removal or moving of materials from a watercourse.

 - Activity 17 – which refers to the clearance of an area of 1 hectare but no more than 20 hectares of indigenous vegetation.


Listing Notice 3 (GN No. 985 of 2014), as amended:

 - Activity 12 which refers to the clearance of an area of 300 square metres or more of indigenous vegetation within any critically endangered or endangered ecosystem listed in terms of Section 52 of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (10 of 2004).

 

IMPACTS IDENTIFIED


Below are the impacts which have been identified.

Design, planning and construction phase

  • Loss of watercourse habitat and eco-logical structure resulting in impacts to biota as well as changes to the socio-cultural and service provision.
  • Impacts on the hydrology, sediment balance and water quality of the watercourse
  • Herpetofauna - habitat loss during construction phase
  • Impact of the construction of a jetty providing access to the Princess Vlei for religious ceremonies
  • Extension of the Eco-Centre dormitory
  • Waste management impacts
  • Dust impacts during the construction phase
  • Noise impacts during the construction phase
  • Visual impacts during the construc-ion phase
  • Associated employment opportunities during the construction phase


    Construction and operational phase impacts
  • Intentional and accidental mortality during Construction and Operational phase
  • Roadkill during Construction and Operational phase
  • Movement barriers during Construction and Operational phase
  • Alien and invasive species establishment during construction and operational phase
  • Use of herbicides and insecticides during the construction and operational phase
  • Disturbance and mortality due to pets and feral animals during operational phase


Operational phase impacts

  • Proliferation of alien vegetation
  • Pollution during Operational phase
  • Fire during Operational phase
  • Improved safety of runners, walkers and cyclists within the local area
  • Security concerns of users of the circulatory trail
  • Impact on current users of the area who use the Princess Vlei for cultural and/or religious events


Alternatives Assessment

  • Damage to and loss of existing remnant natural vegetation on site
  • Proliferation of alien vegetatioN

 

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

The public participation process undertaken is to ensure public and stakeholder participation during the basic assessment process. Public participation provides an opportunity for Interested and Affected Parties (I&APs) to obtain accurate and understandable information about the environmental impacts of the proposed activity and to provide comment or input into the environmental assessment. The following will be undertaken:

  • An Information Sheet (a summary of the draft report) will be distributed to adjacent landowners and occupiers, identified I&APs, and the Ward Councillor. Where applicable, information sheets will be distributed by email, fax, post or hand delivered.
  • A copy of the report will be placed at the Grassy Park Library for public viewing between 13 November 2019 and 13 December 2019. \
  • A public forum in the form of an Open House (poster display of information) will be held on 26 November 2019 at the Grassy Park Civic Centre from 4pm to 8pm.
  • A media notice was placed in the Southern Mail and Cape Argus on 13 November 2019.
  • Site notices will be placed in conspicuous locations along the site boundary as well as other strategic locations. The site notice provides the same details as the media notice.

WAY FORWARD

The commenting period: 13 November 2019 to 13 December 2019

You are invited to an Open House (information display session) will be held on 26 November 2019 at the Grassy Park Civic Centre from 4pm to 8pm. Members of the public will be able to view the information on display and ask any questions that they may have.

 

The comments received will be recorded in an issues trail and be addressed accordingly. Comments on this report may be submitted on or before 13 December 2019 to:

 

The Environmental Partnership

Postal Address: P O Box 945, Cape Town, 8000

Tel: 021 422 0999

Fax: 021 422 0998

Email: comments@enviropart.co.za

 

 

 

  • Status: Draft Basic Assessment Report
  • Start date: Wednesday, 13 November 2019
  • End date: Friday, 13 December 2019
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