Deep Blue disaster

Kobus Coetzee, Strand

I have experienced Bolander as a caring newspaper which only wants the best for the Helderberg area.

When they and other newspapers report on municipal matters, I can only assume that their reports depend mainly on facts as provided by the municipality.

It is with a feeling of disbelief that I am writing this message.

My client, Joep van Almenkerk, the owner of De Brasserie on Beach Road, Strand, offered the council R10 million to restore the derelict Deep Blue structure on the beach front.

I would have designed modern cloak room facilities in the present structure and added a beach restaurant on top.

It was an unobtrusive design which did not take away any views and it provided full access to wheel chair persons to all levels.

The project with my perspective and elevations was reported with anticipation in a local newspaper during December.

The project we had in mind provided the following bonusses:

It would provide the toilets and beach reastaurant facilities which we need to be considered for Blue Flag status.

We desperately need these toilets in any case. The seasonal container toilets are far below our deserved standards and is truly an eyesore during every festive season.

It would save the taxpayer the demolishing costs of the present ugly Deep Blue structure.

It did not have to go through an environmental study process as it is the refurbishing of the existing building.

It did not affect the sea wall project at all. As a matter of fact, it saved about 30 metres of wall costs.

The non-response of the council will waste millions of the taxpayers’ money. We have it on record that the City of Cape Town is informed of this matter.

It finally confirmed that the councillors of the Helderberg Basin and the City council do not have the Strand with our precious beach front on their agenda.

The beautiful sea wall was finally constructed after decades of pressure by the Ratepayers’ Association and the Strand Sectional Title Association.

The project has stopped, apparently for focusing firstly on another portion of the wall nearer to Greenways.

It is therefore so much more unacceptable for the council to turn away a grant by a taxpayer who would provide dearly missed beach facilities on a project which can start immediately.

This message was written in response to the article in the Bolander which explained the process of the Deep Blue demolition.

We cannot find fault with the article written by Norman McFarlane in Bolander of March 6 (“Demolition of Deep Blue building delayed”).

We strongly agree with the fact that there is no place for such a derelict building on our beach front.

However, the article was definitely written without the information on the proposed refurbishment.

It will blow my mind if any taxpayer would not dearly want our proposed facilities and to even have it at no costs is almost unthinkable.

It seems to us that the council has gone down along the road so far with a totally wrong decision, that they do not want to turn around at any costs.

They would rather waste the tax payers’ money.

I would like to conclude by stressing that De Brasserie does not need the Deep Blue project.

I believe Joep van Almenkerk and all the Strand inhabitants are in their right to object against the current derelict Deep Blue building and the ugly festive season container toilets right in front of De Brasserie.

The open hand of Mr Van Almenkerk has been turned away by the council’s attitude at a pure straight loss for the taxpayer and future tourists visiting our beach front.

Mr Van Almenkerk cannot put his money on ice for ever while waiting on the council.

This letter was also sent by Mr Coetzee to Erika Williams of the City of Cape Town for comment.