Friends of Helderberg Estate

Friends of Helderberg Estate, Somerset West

In response to our letter ‘Enough is Enough’ regarding an application by Helderberg College to change the urban edge and build a housing estate on Helderberg Mountain, Dr Bernhard Ficker describes us as: “so-called Friends of Helderberg (sic) without identifying themselves”.

Friends of Helderberg Estate is a group of over 200 concerned residents; it would be somewhat impractical to list each member in the limited space available for letters to Bolander.

In his letter Dr Ficker rather misses the point, which is that there are already large tracts of land earmarked for development in Somerset West which are inside the urban edge, so how can a deviation be justified?

Such a change in urban edge may be deemed appropriate from time to time, but only after extensive consultation which usually takes place over a period of years, not months.

What is so shocking about this application is that change of urban edge, rezoning of land and detailed planning permission for houses are all being considered simultaneously and the public will be given only 30 days to raise objections. What kind of precedent is being set here?

Furthermore, those new developments currently being built elsewhere in Somerset West (and we appreciate that there is a strong demand for housing) are not accessed through steep, narrow, winding residential roads totally unsuited to heavy traffic. Rather they are accessed via appropriate links such as the upgraded Sir Lowry’s road and the Kuils River road.

We have extreme concerns about road safety during the building process bearing in mind the high levels of construction traffic (up to 100 000 movements) this will entail. Most of our roads have no pavements and are filled with domestic workers, dog walkers, cyclists, children, elderly people – this is an accident waiting to happen.

We encourage all residents in Somerset West to object to this inappropriate and disruptive development by emailing Friendsofhelderbergestate@gmail.com

Dr Fricker claims Helderberg College has never bothered anyone – but it is now.