Approximately 40 people from a number of different organisations and interest groups attended the meeting, held at LOFOB in Grassy Park on 27 August.
The meeting was part of a public participation process to get feedback from the community on the City’s plan. It followed an Open Day, held by the City at Retreat Civic Centre on August 20, to present the plan to members of the public.
The meeting introduced by PVF committee member Gary Stewart. This was followed by a presentation tracing the development of the vision for Princess Vlei, from the Dressing the Princess Project led by Kelvin Cochrane and SANBI, through the Imagine Princess Vlei campaign to the present day. The vision that was developed by the community through various processes, was captured by the Princess Vlei Forum in a document entitled Imagine Princess Vlei: The Community Vision. This was presented to Deputy Mayor Ian Nielson on 22 March 2014, and was a key document in guiding the City’s Draft framework.
Malcolm Campbell from the PVF management committee presented the City plan. This was followed by group discussions, during which the plan was discussed in depth. During group discussion, the following points were raised:
- The Khoisan heritage value of the site needs to be included in the Development principles; and provision made for Memorialisation of Khoi heritage.
- The proposed high-density zones are of concern. It is impossible for the community to comment effectively without clarity as to exactly what development is proposed, and how this can be used to benefit Princess Vlei or make it more sustainable.
- Safety is an ongoing concern, and creative solutions need to be found. Appropriate development in the “high-density” zones could assist with this.
- It should also be noted that with respect to the proposal for the Eastern Shore Precinct, care should be taken that when landscaped barriers are created to define spaces , provide protection against the wind or mitigate noise along Prince George Drive, that they are not installed in ways which impede visual access, since this would work against the principle of insuring public safety, which is in part achieved by visual permeability.
- Pedestrian access from the Grassy Park side is a major concern – provision needs to made to facilitated this.
- Walkways and so on should also be accessible to the disabled, and visually impaired. With LOFOB in the area, the visually impaired are an important sector of the community.
- Confining parking to the area adjacent to the vehicular access off Prince George Drive needs to be reconsidered. The parking area which already exist here, is not used at all. The preferred area for parking is adjacent to the vlei, which is extremely popular, for good reasons. Clearly these aspects have to be workshopped in greater detail with community representatives before these conceptual proposals are taken any further.
- Funding is an issue. It was felt that the City needs to contribute a significant portion of the budget, although the PVF and others can try to mobilised funds from the private sector and donor groups.
- Development should be phased and organic, responding to real need and interest, and avoiding the creation of “white elephant” structures.
- Specific interest groups need to be consulted such as the Khoi cultural heritage groups; baptism groups; education sector and environmental groups.
After the group discussion, Ward Councillor Kevin Southgate explained that some money was available on the 2015/16 Ward budget for improvements at Princess Vlei. Various proposals were put forward. The one that received most support was for a children’s playpark. This proposal will go forward to the Ward Council.
Download the full report on the meeting
Download the City's Draft Conceptual Development Framework
The public can send comments on the Framework directly to Bradley Burger: email Bradley.Burger@capetown.gov.za