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On-site wastewater treatment plant at the centre of an opposed 'monstrous' Table View proposed development

An artist’s impression of the proposed development at 21 Canary Crescent, Sunridge. Supplied

An artist’s impression of the proposed development at 21 Canary Crescent, Sunridge. Supplied

Published Nov 12, 2021

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Cape Town - Residents of Table View, who thought all new housing developments have been shelved because of the strain on the sewage system, were flabbergasted when a developer amended his application by proposing to build his own sewage treatment works.

The application which has now been brought forward for the third time was initially submitted in 2015 by the First Plan Town Planners on behalf of Flandorp Family Property Trust and is proposing a gated development, which would consist of nine duplex houses, 337 apartment units and a clubhouse.

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The apartment units are proposed to be a combination of three and four storey blocks. Sixteen duplex houses would form street-facing single residential units outside the development.

The developer has planned to install a temporary on-site private wastewater treatment plant for the period of the Potsdam Waterwaste Treatment Works’s (WWTW) upgrade which is estimated to be in 2025/2026. This would enable it to skip the current moratorium on developments.

The Greater Table View Action Forum (GTAF) said they are still opposed to the revised “monstrous” development application at 21 Canary Crescent, Sunridge, that would see a 380 units development.

Resident Phillipe Roche questioned the developer’s statement on its assurance of a continuous supply of electricity from Eskom, and the lack of need for a backup generator. Roche said Eskom cannot assure a normal supply of electricity, let alone a continuous supply.

“If there are glitches in the package plant system, with a minimum of 360 individuals producing a large amount of excrement not to mention foreign objects that are flushed into the system, what will happen? Where will the overflow go? Also remember that generators can produce a lot of noise,” he said.

Roche said more explanation was needed to be presented to the community regarding the location of the package plant. He said this had a bearing as it was on private land and the City of Cape Town would have no control over its operation.

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He also questioned the number of parking bays reduced from 506 to 335 which he said would cause overflow and criticised First Plan bargaining on the fact that most of the dwellers would be using My City buses.

Roche said the site plan cannot be accepted until the development was designed in a manner that complimented the surrounding properties and demonstrated a consideration towards the residents. He said the development was currently designed to favour developers and City/Provincial officials and would destroy Sunridge and Table View.

TGAF planning and biodiversity head David Ayres said a wastewater treatment plant in a residential area was an environmental catastrophe waiting to happen.

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Ayres said they were currently formulating objections which were due for submission on November 26.

First Plan said the on-site wastewater treatment plant would address the lack of capacity of the Potsdam WWTW. It said the plant was a tried and tested system and was operational in various locations within the province and that this had been approved in a number of residential developments within the city. First Plan said the plant’s impact on adjacent properties would be minimal.

City’s spokesperson Luthando Thyalibhongo said developers may propose alternative methods of dealing with wastewater for consideration as part of the application process. He said these plants would potentially require further authorities such as environmental authority.

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“A temporary solution of a package plant for on-site wastewater treatment to enable earlier commencement of development may be supported by the City, but note that no discharge from such a scheme will be allowed into the City sewerage system in the constrained catchment,'” he said.

He said should the application be approved, conditions imposed either in terms of the Municipal Planning By-Law or by Provincial or National legislation were enforceable and that non-compliance would be dealt with by relevant authorities’ enforcement branches.

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