From: Water Rat [mailto:
Sent: 17/06/2016 12:38 PM
Subject: Clubs at Vetch's Beach
Recent developments have brought to the surface a number of important issues regarding the formation and structure of the ‘Point Watersports Club’. I therefore strongly recommend that those of you, who are members of one of the clubs situated at Vetch’s, take some time to familiarize yourself with the issues that the clubs are currently dealing with regarding the new development and attend your club's AGM in order to hear what your club representatives have to report.
The elected Committees members work hard for the clubs' interests so they do deserve your attention. If you are unhappy with any of their decisions or actions, the AGM will be your chance to pose any questions that you may have in an open forum and vote on any issues that may need be settled by ballot in terms of your Club's Constitution.
You may wonder why someone who has been closely involved with the Save Vetch’s Association takes the liberty of penning this. The reason is this: one of the key issues that led to the formation of the SVA was poor communication. The breakdown in the flow of transparent information between the interested parties and the developer led to suspicion and distrust. Our issues were settled in 2012 and we have an agreement, the terms of which are bound by law. Whilst the SVA is monitoring developments we will not interfere unless the terms of our agreement are compromised.
Lets hope all goes smoothly and we can look forward to enjoying our beach in peace.
Rezoning of the Point waterfront Open day 18th July
As seen recently in the press the plans for the Point Development have undergone some changes with the removal of the small craft harbour from the initial plans. This has necessitated a re-zoning process to accommodate the new proposed plans.
Below is the notification by the Council to amend the zoning of the Point waterfront. Interested members are encouraged to attend an open day where members of the public may view the proposals for the development and ask questions on Saturday, 18 July 2015 from 09h00 to 12h00 at the DPDC Offices, 15 Timeball Boulevard, Point Waterfront, and Durban 4001.
Council took a decision on 21 May 2015 in terms of Clause 9(1) and Clause 22(1) of the Planning and Development Act No 6 of 2008, to initiate an amendment to the Durban Scheme, Special Zone 91: Point Waterfront along with the proposed subdivision of a portion of this area to form the Promenade and the subsequent rezoning of this area to the Beach Zone.
The proposal is a combined application consisting of three components mentioned above (i.e.: Amendment to the scheme, Subdivision and rezoning). The proposal is currently in the public participation phase and the detailed reports and plans are available for viewing at the Municipal offices (Land Use Management Scheme branch, Ground Floor, City Engineers Building, 166 K.E Masinga Road) as well as the Durban Point Development Company (DPDC) offices which is located at 15 Timeball Boulevard, Point Waterfront, and Durban. Public comments are welcome. The closing date for public comments is the 12 August 2015.
SUMMARY OF THE PROPOSAL
The proposal consists of three main components, which are summarised below.
A copy of the application and its accompanying documents will be open for inspection by interested members of the public between the hours of 08h00 and 12h30 Mondays to Fridays (excluding Public Holidays) at the offices of the Land Use Management Branch, Ground Floor, 166 KE Masinga (Old Ford) Road, Durban and the offices of the Durban Point Development Company located at 15 Timeball Boulevard, Point Waterfront Durban 4001.
You are further invited to attend an open day where members of the public may view the proposals for the development and ask questions on Saturday, 18 July 2015 from 09h00 to 12h00 at the DPDC Offices, 15 Timeball Boulevard, Point Waterfront, and Durban 4001.
- 23 Jul 2013
- The Mercury
- Tania Broughton
ANOTHER row is simmering over Durban’s Point Waterfront upgrade with concerns that in its revised plan, the development company has broken a deal it had with the watersports clubs by including a swimming beach and public promenade in front of their site.
The deal was brokered last year between the Save the Vetch’s Association, the Durban Paddle Ski Club and the Durban Point Development Company, bringing an end to what had already been lengthy litigation stalling any development in the area.
Now in submissions on the recently released revised plan, Michael Jackson, the lawyer acting for the association and the club, has taken issue with the siting of a promenade and jetties below the erosion line, which will hinder access to the beach by vehicles with boats and trailers.
He says while he hopes the concerns are “unfounded” and based on “misunderstandings”, he suggests that unless they are resolved, the deal could be off.
Cuane Hall, the chairman of the Durban Undersea Club, has echoed similar concerns. He told The Mercury: “The promenade cannot happen and will not happen. We have voiced our concerns and we will keep voicing them until it goes away.”
Jackson, in his written submission in the environmental approval process for the revised plan, says his clients fully support a development consistent with the settlement agreement, which must be complied with.
“The litigation which preceded it was motivated by the strongly held belief that the Vetch’s Beach is iconic to Durban and the way of life enjoyed by its citizens.
“The agreement accommodated both development and the beachcentred lifestyle. It is of fundamental importance this is not destroyed but is rather captured and celebrated,” he says.
In terms of the agreement the entire beach zone was to be a launch zone.
“Placing a public walkway directly across it from north to south would be both dangerous (to pedestrians) and in our clients’ view nonsensical,” he says.
Further, by placing the promenade so close to the sea it exposed it to severe storms and damage, with debris strewn on the beach and reef which would in turn cause damage to craft.
He said it appeared the operational launch zone was only 153m long, whereas it was the intention of the settlement agreement that the entire beach zone of about 300m could be used for launching.
The Durban Undersea Club is still formulating its written response. But Hall said the issue of the swimming beach and the promenade “keeps popping up” and he believed it was an attempt by the Point precinct developers to appease the city which wanted a promenade along the entire beachfront.
“We are not happy with it and we have raised it in our negotiations. We are not sure what is intended by a promenade, whether it is just a walkway as exists now. We are also not happy with the appearance of a a swimming beach when it is an operational beach,” he said.
Coastwatch KZN, while finding some improvements in the new plan, has raised similar concerns about the siting of the promenade.
And the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance predicts that the promenade will be “consumed by the relentless forces of the sea”.
It has also expressed concern about the impact of a slipway allowing direct access to the canal which would place at risk its marine ecological system.
“Neighbouring Sea World has been stocking the canal with various marine species including kingfish, spotted grunter, lionfish, mullet and parrotfish. Successful breeding is occurring and it has become a tourist attraction in its own right,” the alliance said.
The Mercury - 12 July 2013
New-look Point plans revealed
DEADLINE LOOMS TO AIR YOUR VIEWS
DETAILS of major changes to the original Point Waterfront Development in Durban, including a 33storey skyscraper at the harbour entrance, became public yesterday amid concerns about the limited time allowed for people to comment on the latest changes.
The revised plans are a “scaleddown” version of the original plans which sparked a series of court cases and a bumper sticker campaign by opponents who feared that the popular Vetch’s Pier and beach would be covered in concrete.
Although the provincial government approved the controversial plans in 2009, the DurbanPoint Development Company was forced back to the drawing board and signed a “ceasefire” settlement agreement late last year with the Save Vetch’s Association and the Durban Paddle Ski Club.
In terms of the compromise agreement, opponents agreed to drop legal action in return for supporting a scaled-down version that would not encroach on Vetch’s Pier or the adjoining beach.
This week, new details were published as part of amendments to the environmental authorisation process.
While the Point Yacht Club has welcomed the new plans, the Durban Paddle Ski Club is to consult legal advisers to scrutinise whether they are consistent with the settlement plan.
Point Yacht Club commodore Trevor Donald said the final plans would create a major new attraction for the city.
“We think the water sports clubs will be getting one of most exciting clubs in South Africa, with a fantastic outlook on the sea, and so we are very enthusiastic.”
But Johnny Vassilaros, of the Durban Paddle Ski Club, who played a leading role in halting the original plans, said the new plans had raised some concerns.
For example, there were plans for a new boardwalk passing directly through the launching area, as well as possible size restrictions to the original boat launching area.
Di Dold of the Coastwatch group also objected to the new boardwalk, calling it a “clear contravention” of the settlement agreement.
“If the developers want to build a new promenade it must be located above the erosion line,” she said.
There was also confusion about how much time remained for the public to comment.
A notice, dated July 2, indicates a 14-day comment period – suggesting the deadline expires on Tuesday (July 16).
Environmental consultant Pravin Amar agreed that amendments were sent out only on Saturday and that some people might have received documents only this week.
When it was suggested that most people would have only a few days to comment, Amar insisted that the 14-day period was an instruction from the provincial Department of Environmental Affairs.
The Durban Undersea Club has scheduled a report-back meeting for Monday at 6pm.
According to a new 50-page motivation plan prepared by the Iyer Design Studio, some of the main features include a small “waterfront basin” instead of the original yacht and small craft “harbour”.
Originally, an 18-storey hotel would have been built on top of Vetch’s Pier. Now, a 20-storey “five or six-star iconic hotel” would be built along the new north pier. Another new feature is a 33-storey tower block at the base of the north pier, likely to incorporate offices, shops and flats.
The most significant change is that most office, flat and shop buildings will be significantly taller.
This is because the settlement agreement specified that the developers would not reduce the original “bulk” in development.
The Iyer Design proposal said the extra height of the new buildings would not create shadow problems on adjoining beaches.
Shadow projections are based on existing city guidelines to avoid tall buildings blocking out sunlight on beaches before 3pm during winter.
Neels Brink, project director for the Durban Point Development Company, said he could not comment on the 14-day comment period. He also declined to speculate when construction might begin
Investors eye Point Waterfront
July 11 2013 at 10:42am
By BARBARA COLE
The latest plan for the Point Waterfront, which has the canal now coming out at the base of North Pier, hotels and different buildings.
International investors are eyeing opportunities at the Point Waterfront in the wake of the historic settlement agreement between the developers and opponents.
The groundbreaking compromise deal struck between the Durban Point Development Company (DPDC), and The Save Vetch’s Association (SVA) and the Durban Paddle Ski Club signed at the end of last year ended 10 years of legal wrangles – and has now sparked renewed interest in the multibillion-rand strategic project.
“An increased interest from national and international investors has been noticed since the agreement,” a spokesman for the DPDC said on Wednesday.
Most of the interest has been for a parcel of land known as the “retail quarter”, which has retail, residential, office and hotel rights, with the retail element being integrated with the current uShaka retail offering.
The development is being marketed by Trade & Investment KZN, which has access to international investors looking for opportunities.
It is also one of the KZN Growth Coalition’s priority projects.
There had been “added interest” for the three hotel sites near uShaka’s overflow car park.
The sites could also be consolidated into one, and there had been interest in a few permutations, the DPDC spokesman said
Article in the Daily News - July 11 2013
One step closer to building - July 11 2013 at 10:42am By BARBARA COLE
The latest plan for the Point Waterfront, which has the canal now coming out at the base of North Pier, hotels and different buildings.
The latest phase in the Point Waterfront development plan has kicked in with the release for comment of new plans drawn up after agreement was finally reached on development at Vetch’s Beach.
Neels Brink, the project director for the Durban Point Development Company (DPDC), has applied to the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs for an amendment to the environmental authorisation.
The revised layout has been drawn up in the wake of the settlement agreement.
Interested and affected parties have until July 16 to have their say on the application.
The department has pointed out that it might decide a further public participation process may be needed before reaching a decision.
A motivation attached to the application says the revised plan will not result in any negative impacts to the environment as it down-scaled development.
Johnny Vassilaros, chairman of Durban Paddle Ski Club, said he was still examining the amendment details, released this week, and hoped they were consistent with the agreement that had been negotiated.
The DPDC spokesman said everything in the amendment conformed to the agreement.
DPDC initially got the environmental go-ahead in 2009, but the initial project – which envisaged a small craft harbour behind a sea wall running alongside Vetch’s Pier with a 24-storey iconic hotel – stalled following challenges from The Save Vetch’s Association (SVA) and the Durban Paddle Ski Club.
The original plan left only 100m of Vetch’s Beach with limited access for the Point Watersports Club (then the Durban Ski Boat Club, Durban Undersea Club and the Point Yacht Club), Durban Paddle Ski Club and the general public.
But the 10-year impasse ended with a compromise agreement, which scales down the small craft harbour to a compact waterfront basin.
The revised plan retains 50 percent of the area as a beach for public use and 50 percent to be reconfigured into the waterfront basin.
No development will take place along Vetch’s Reef as originally planned and no structures will be built in the beach zone or Vetch’s Basin.
The proposed iconic five-or-six-star hotel has now been repositioned to the mouth of the harbour.
It will have “fantastic” views out to sea as well as of the Bluff and the Durban coastline and serve as a gateway into the harbour and the waterfront basin zone.
It is seen as a long-term project as the land it will eventually stand on is still under water.
The Point Watersports Club had originally agreed to move into a new joint clubhouse at the base of the new North Pier, but this will now be repositioned at the base of Vetch’s Pier and members will be able to launch their boats directly from the beach.
Durban Paddle Ski Club members will be able to join the four-level club, which will have a vertical boat storage facility for 250 paddle skis.
The amended plan also envisages a wider promenade and two new iconic buildings.
Additional space is proposed at the canal lock to enable the public to view the canal/lock operations. Based on the development proposals, Browns Road is expected to operate close to capacity and it is suggested the intersections be widened to include left and right turn slots.
On-street parking will be removed.
The agreement between the developer and the SVA specifically states no members of the SVA will object to any application the developers may make for an amendment to the environmental approval – or to any amendments the developer makes to the town planning scheme, if these are in terms of the agreement.
There are two processes that need to be completed before the development can proceed: a decision on the environmental amendment application, and a decision on a rezoning application relating to the revised layout of the project, which is before the city’s town planning department.
“Hopefully, we will get approval for these this year,” the DPDC spokesman said.
A motivation report to the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs concludes the vision of the development had not been compromised with the new plan and getting the environmental go-ahead will “start a much needed revival of the Point Development project and promote the regeneration of this key precinct for Durban”.
Details about the amended environmental application, including layouts, and the relevant appendices can be downloaded from: www.pravinamar.com or from www.pravinamar.com/reports/default.asp and then select the “small crafts harbour” option on the web page.