PROPOSED MIXED-USE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT ON PORTION 35 OF FARM 918 IN SMERSET WEST

A draft Basic Assessment Report has been compiled and made available for a 30-day commenting period. The commentinf period commences on 10 May 2019 and closes on 10 June 2019. Should you wish to provide comment on the draft report, you may do so by emailing: comments@enviropart.co.za, or telephone: 021 422 0999, or fax: 021 422 0998, or be post: PO Box 945, Cape Town, 8000. Please provide comment or register as an Interested and Affected Party by 10 June 2019. 

 

INTRODUCTION

A draft Basic Assessment Report has been compiled in support of an Environmental Impact Assessment being undertaken for a proposed mixed-use development on Portion 35 of Farm 918 in Somerset West, Cape Town. Asrin Property Developers is proposing a development that includes residential units varying in typology and includes associated infrastructure such as the access and internal roads, parking bays, infrastructural services, play areas, and detention ponds.

Portion 35 of Farm 918 in Somerset West lies northwest of the N2 Freeway and east of Onverwacht Road and Chris Nissen Village. A railway line bounds the northeastern portion of the site. Please see attached locality map.

 

LEGISLATION

The National Environmental Management Act (107 of 1998) as amended, and the 2014 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations, as amended, require that a Basic Assessment of the proposed development be undertaken. The proposed development includes activities 9, 10, 12, 19, and 28, of Listing Notice 1 (GNR No. 327).

The proposed development will result in the partial infilling of a wetland on the site. In terms of the Water Act (36 of 1998), Section 21 (c) and (i) are applicable and refer to the impeding or diverting the flow of water in a watercourse, and altering the bed, banks, course or characteristics of a watercourse, respectively. A water use application will therefore be submitted to the Department of Water and Sanitation.

 

PROJECT PROPOSAL

The intention is to develop Portion 35 of Farm 918 into an affordable housing development with some commercial space included. Two design alternatives are proposed. The difference between the two alternatives is that Alternative 1 proposes ground floor mixed-use units and Alternative 2 is residential only. Both alternatives are divided into three sections (A, B and C) each with their own gatehouse for vehicle and pedestrian access. Section A and B are Sectional Title, predominantly three-storey apartment blocks with four-storey apartment blocks on either side of the new main access road through the site. The unit size for Section A and B is 60m2. Section C is freestanding houses each with a single garage will be on freehold erven each 190 m2 in size with floorspace ranging between 70 m2 and 90m2.

 

ALTERNATIVES

Alternative 1 – Mixed Use (preferred alternative)
Alternative 1 includes the development of 47 freestanding apartment blocks, ranging in height from three to four storeys, each with a footprint area of approximately 280m2. These 47 freestanding apartment blocks comprise a total of 564 residential units of approximately 60 m2 each. 103 freestanding homes are proposed. Mixed-use development is proposed on the ground floor of the four-storey apartments. This provides a total of 48 mixed-use development units. Onsite parking is provided for both residents and visitors.

Alternative 2 - Residential
Alternative 2 includes the development of 47 freestanding apartment blocks, ranging in height from three to four storeys, each with a footprint area of approximately 280 m2. These 47 freestanding apartment blocks comprise a total of 612 residential apartments of approximately 60 m2 each. 103 freestanding homes are proposed too. No mixed-use opportunities are proposed within this alternative.

The following is common for both alternatives:

  • • A 13 m setback from the N2 is proposed to mitigate traffic noises.
  • • A boundary wall along the eastern and northeastern property boundary. A combination boundary wall and palisade fencing is proposed along the southwestern boundary (adjacent to the N2) and a portion of the western boundary wall up until the new main access road. Palisade fencing is proposed from the new main access road to the northeastern boundary wall.
  • • A pedestrian gate located along the southwest boundary of the development adjacent to the N2. This will provide access into the development without having to walk to the new access road, off Onverwacht Road. Two pedestrian gates are proposed within Section C providing access to the wetland area and its associated buffer area.

 

Open Spaces
Play areas are provided in three separate areas. No play area will be located within Section B since development will be along the main access road and for Alternative 1, this is where mixed-use development is proposed.

Verges and open areas will be landscaped with waterwise plants. A landscaped berm and the
13 m buffer from the N2 will be landscaped as well. On the site there are existing mature eucalyptus trees. Approximately 50% of these trees will remain which will assist in mitigating wind and soften and scale the development edge with the neighbouring property to the east. Owing to the loss of some of the existing eucalyptus trees, new wind / drought resistant trees will be planted to further mitigate wind and soften the environment.

Along the northeastern boundary of the property is an Unchannelled Valley Bottom Wetland. The wetland has a 21 m buffer area within which no development shall be undertaken. This wetland will be rehabilitated and made accessible for the amenity of the residents.

 

SERVICES ON SITE

Edifice Consulting Engineers are appointed as the Civil Engineers for the proposed development. No services are provided for on the site as the site is undeveloped and vacant. The following is noted for the proposed development:

Water reticulation
There is an existing 200 mm water main pipe located in the Onverwacht Road reserve to which the proposed development could connect to.

Stormwater 

A stormwater network connected to detention facilities is proposed. Each development section will have its own detention pond. Two detention ponds will be within the wetland buffer area, and the third detention pond within the 13 m buffer area from the N2. Kerb inlets and catch pits will be used to connect the stormwater network to each individual pond. The internal stormwater pipe network will consist of a series of 160mm pipes leading to a pipe network which will discharge into each detention pond. The overflows will discharge into a 600 mm diameter main stormwater pipe which will connect to the existing municipal stormwater network.

Sewer reticulation network
The site will be connected to form part of the Macassar-Lourens River pump station system. Located parallel to the southwestern boundary and the N2 is a 300 mm sewerage main. An additional municipal sewerage line within the existing sewer servitude parallel to the existing (N2) sewer line is planned in the future.

Currently the Macassar Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW) does not have spare capacity to accommodate any further developments. Upgrades to the Macassar WWTW will only be completed in 2024. As part of the development proposal, a temporary sewerage package plant will be constructed and operate for approximately the first 10 years of the proposed development. The development will connect to municipal infrastructure once the upgrades at the WWTW has been completed.

Road Network
Access to the site will be via a roundabout, approximately 260 m north of the N2/Onverwacht Road intersection, west of the existing access to Chris Nissen Park and Somerset Lakes. The proposed main access road will have a 20 m wide road reserve. The multi-storey apartment units will have a 7.5 m wide roadway with parking bays on either side of the roads for Section A and B. Section C will consist of 5.5 m wide roads.

Electricity
Power supply for this development will be sourced from Eskom, as the site is located within the Eskom jurisdiction. Electricity supply would be supplied from Eskom’s existing Waterkloof Substation situated within the development boundaries to the southwest. Eskom has confirmed that there is sufficient capacity at the Waterkloof Substation to supply the proposed development with 2.9MVA.

 

POTENTIAL IMPACTS IDENTIFIED AND ASSESSED

 

Design and Planning Phase
 - Development of Helderberg residential infrastructure within 32 m of the Unchannelled Valley Bottom Wetland
 - Removal of indigenous vegetation

Construction Phase
 - Construction of access road through artificial seep and within the 21m buffer of the Unchannelled Valley Bottom Wetland
 - Installation of a perimeter fence, bisecting the Unchannelled Valley Bottom Wetland
 - Traffic congestion due to construction vehicles
 - Dust impacts during the construction phase
 - Noise impacts during the construction phase
 - Visual impact during construction phase
 - Job creation during construction phase

Operational Phase
 - Provision of housing opportunities
 - Compatibility with surrounding land uses
 - Noise impact on proposed development
 - Employment opportunities

Alternative 1, the preferred alternative, includes a residential and mixed-use component for the ground levels of the development blocks parallel to the main access road traversing the development. Alternative 2 only proposes residential development. Both alternatives have similar environmental impact assessment ratings since both result in largely the same impact. From a botanical and freshwater perspective, the proposed development activities are mitigatable to acceptable levels. Traffic impacts are not expected to result in negative levels of service.

Alternative 1 provides housing opportunities as well as economic opportunity within the development. This has resulted in a higher positive rating for employment opportunities within the operation phase. Thus, responding to the objectives of the Helderberg District Plan, Integrated Development Plan and the Densification Policy, all of which assert the need for residential development which includes economic opportunity or within close proximity to economic opportunity.

 

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

 

Public participation is a key component of the Basic Assessment process as it introduces the proposed development to the public and provides an opportunity for comments and concerns to be raised. The draft Basic Assessment Report (BAR) is available to Interested and Affected Parties (I&APs) for perusal and comment by the following means:

 - Distribution of an Information sheet (summary of the draft BAR) to all identified I&APs
 - Distribution of copies of the BAR to relevant state departments for comment
 - Placement of a media notice in the DistriksPos local newspapers on 09 May 2019, for the broad public.
 - Placement of site notices on the boundary of the site
 - Placement of a copy of the draft BAR on The Environmental Partnership’s website, www.enviropart.co.za, and at the Somerset West Public Library for the duration of the
30-day commenting period.

The commenting period will commence on 10 May 2019 and close on 10 June 2019.

 

WAY FORWARD

The draft BAR is being made available for a 30-day commenting period to the broad public, identified I&APs and relevant Organs of State for their perusal and comment. At the end of the commenting period, all comments will be captured and addressed in a Comments Table which will be included in the next draft of the BAR.

Comments on this report may be submitted on or before 10 June 2019 to:

The Environmental Partnership
P O Box 945, Cape Town, 8000
Tel: 021 422 0999
Fax: 021 422 0998
Email: comments@enviropart.co.za

  • Status: Pre-application Public Participation
  • Start date: Friday, 10 May 2019
  • End date: Monday, 10 June 2019
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