NOTIFICATION OF THE AVAILABILITY OF THE BASIC ASSESSMENT REPORT FOR COMMENT AND PERUSAL FOR THE PROPOSED MIXED-USE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT ON PORTION 35 OF FARM 918 IN SOMERSET WEST

A draft Basic Assessment Report has been compiled and made available for a 30-day commenting period.
The commenting period commences on 13 March 2020 and closes on 15 April 2020.
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 by post: PO Box 945, Cape Town, 8000.
Please provide comment or register as an Interested and Affected Party by 15 April 2020.

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

This Basic Assessment Report (BAR) serves as documentation in support of an Environmental Impact Assessment process being undertaken for a proposed mixed-use development on Portion 35 of Farm 918 in Somerset West, Cape Town. This site lies northwest of the N2 Freeway and east of Onverwacht Road and Chris Nissen Village. A railway line abuts the northeastern boundary. (See Appendix B: Locality Map).

Asrin Property Developers is proposing to develop a mixed-use residential development that includes approximately 32 three-storey residential block housing units, as well as 102 freestanding erven with the associated infrastructure. The Environmental Partnership is commissioned to undertake the environmental assessment process for this project in line with the National Environmental Management Act (107 of 1998), as amended.

Two alternatives are proposed and assessed in this Basic Assessment Report, with Alternative 1 having some ground floor commercial activity along with the residential units. The second alternative has no commercial space set aside and contains a mix of residential units.

LEGISLATION

National Environmental Management Act (107 of 1998)
The National Environmental Management Act (107 of 1998) and the 2014 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations, as amended, require that an environmental assessment be undertaken. The proposed development includes activities listed in GN 327 of the 2017 EIA Regulations.

Listing Notice 1 (GN 327 of 2017)

Activity 10
The development and related operation of infrastructure exceeding 1 000 meters in length for the bulk transportation of sewage, effluent, process water, wastewater, return water, industrial discharge or slimes–
(i)     with an internal diameter of 0.36 meters or more; or
(ii)     With a peak throughput of 120 litres per second or more;

Activity 12:
The development of –
(i)     dams or weirs where the dam or weir, including infrastructure and water surface area, exceeds 100 square meters; or
(ii)    infrastructure or structures with a physical footprint of 100 square meters or more.

Where such development  occurs-
(a)     within a watercourse;
(b)     in front of a development setback; or
(c)     if no development setback exists, within 32 meters of a watercourse, measured from the edge of a watercourse.

Activity 19
The infilling or depositing of any material of more than 10 cubic metres into, or the dredging, excavation, removal or moving of soil, sand, shells, shell grit, pebbles or rock of more than 10 cubic metres from a watercourse.

National Water Act (36 of 1998)

The proposed development will result in the partial infilling of a wetland on the site. In terms of the National 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 to the Department of Water and Sanitation is in process.

PROJECT PROPOSAL

Please refer to Appendix B for the map showing the location of the proposed activities. The proposal is to develop Portion 35 of Farm 918 into a residential development, with some commercial opportunities. The development proposed will provide affordable housing.

The Basic Assessment Report made available for commenting during the pre-application public participation process included two alternatives which differed in land use. Alternative 1 proposed 564 residential units of which 48 units on the ground floor of the four-storey apartment blocks are for mixed-use. Alternative 2 proposed 612 residential units only with no commercial opportunities.

Public participation is a key component of the environmental assessment process as it introduces the proposed activity to the public and provides an opportunity for comments and concerns to be raised. Public participation was undertaken in terms of Section 41 of the 2014, NEMA: EIA Regulations, as amended. During the first iteration of Public Participation, comment from the City of Cape Town’s Catchment Management Branch identified a portion of the site as being earmarked for a regional pond to hold at least 40 000m3. It was also noted that there is a 1:50 year floodline on the property. This information, however, was not available to the project team initially. After the necessary information was acquired, a revised layout was formulated to include an area earmarked for a regional stormwater pond on the site and considers the 1:50 year floodline with sufficient stormwater management considerations. Alternative 1 and Alternative 2 have thus been revised to include a regional and a necessary local stormwater pond, with a concomitant reduction in housing units for both alternatives.

Alternative 1 (preferred alternative)
Alternative 1 entails the development of 32 freestanding apartment blocks, ranging in height from three to four storeys, each with a footprint of approximately 280 m2. These apartment blocks will consist of a total of 384 residential units of approximately 60 m2 each. 48 commercial units are proposed for the ground floor of the four-storey apartments which are adjacent to the access road. 102 freestanding homes are also proposed as part of this alternative. On-site parking will be provided for both residents and visitors.

Alternative 2
32 freestanding apartment blocks, ranging in height from three to four storeys, each with a footprint of approximately 100 m2 is proposed. The 32 freestanding apartment blocks will be comprised of a total of 432 residential apartments of approximately 60 m2 each. 102 freestanding homes are proposed as part of this alternative. No commercial development will form part of this alternative (Please see Appendix C for the Site Plans).

The following is proposed for both alternatives (See Appendix C: Site Plans):

●    Public open spaces
●    A 15 m buffer abutting the unchanneled valley bottom wetland during the operational phase (a 21m buffer applies during the construction phase)
●    A combination of boundary wall and palisade fencing is proposed along the southwestern boundary and a portion of the western boundary wall towards the new main access road. Palisade fencing is proposed from the new main access road to the northeastern boundary wall (towards the railway line).
●    A 13 m wide servitude from the N2 is proposed along the southern boundary of the site.
●    Three pedestrian gates are proposed providing access to the wetland area and its associated buffer area.
●    As part of the development proposal, a sewage package plant will be constructed and will be in operation for the first approximate 10 years of the development. The development will connect to the municipal infrastructure once the upgrades at the Macassar Waste Water Treatment plant are completed. The sewage package plant will be installed underground. Two plants combined will accommodate the daily amount of sewage generated by phase 1 and 2. The pipeline is 375 mm in diameter. The plant includes settling tanks, bio-filter basins, humus tanks, and a chlorine contact tank. Sewage will gravity feed into the treatment plant.
●    All other necessary services can be accommodated by the municipality.

POTENTIAL IMPACTS IDENTIFIED AND ASSESSED

Below is a summary of the impacts identified and assessed in the draft Basic Assessment Report.

Design and Planning Phase

  • Partial infilling of the wetland
  • Loss of riparian vegetation and associated function
  • Reduction in the buffer area of the wetland
  • Change in the visual character of the area
  • Compatibility with the Surrounding Area
  • Provision of a Niche Housing Type

Construction Phase

  • Increase in the Rate of Siltation or Erosion
  • Potential Pollution of the wetland as a result of construction east of the access road
  • Loss of vegetation
  • Loss of wetland wetland vegetation and ecosystem services present in the southern section of the wetland
  • Visual impact during the construction phase
  • Dust impact during the construction phase
  • Noise impact during construction phase
  • Traffic congestion due to construction vehicles
  • Job creation during the construction phase
  • Contribution of construction activity on site to the economic base of the area
  • Waste management

Operational Phase

  • Potential sewage outflows as a result of malfunctioning of the package plant
  • Rehabilitation of the Wetland
  • Impact of Stormwater on the wetlands
  • Potential pollution of the wetland as a result of oils and fuels from vehicles utilising the access road
  • Increase in alien vegetation in the buffer area as a result of substrate disturbance
  • Provision of affordable housing
  • Compatibility with surrounding land uses
  • Noise impact on the proposed development
  • Visual impact of the development from the N2
  • Employment opportunities

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: Draft Basic Assessment Report
  • Start date: Friday, 13 March 2020
  • End date: Wednesday, 15 April 2020


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Posted on

July 30, 2020

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