Let’s focus on the facts

Friends of Helderberg Estate, Somerset West

In response to the letter last week from John Simpson we would like to take up his suggestion of ‘focusing on the facts’:

– over 200 residents of Helderberg Estate have signed up to say they are opposed to the proposed development. This is hardly a ‘vocal minority’

– only 2 residents responded to say they support the development, one of whom is John Simpson

– we have tried very hard to ‘work together’ with the college. A meeting took place with Dr Injetty last March in which he promised to maintain a dialogue with local residents and to keep us informed. He failed to keep his word on this and we found out only by chance that plans had reached an advanced stage

– we have tried to open a dialogue with their consultants, Urban Dynamics, but they have not replied to our correspondence

– at least 10 people responded to Erone Oliphant’s letter in the Bolander which invited concerned residents to contact the college. No attempt was made to engage in dialogue to address their concerns – they were all sent a standard reply stating that the public would be given the chance raise their objections in the usual way

– it is a fact that much of Helderspruit Road is little more than 4 metres wide and two cars can pass only with care. A construction vehicle takes up the entire road (we have photographs to prove this)

– it is a fact that the single plot currently being developed on Helderspruit Road involved 14 trips by heavy cement vehicles last Friday and incurred one accident whereby one of these smashed into the kerb on the blind bend. Shall we multiply this by 50?

– it is a fact that Helderspruit Road currently comprises some 25 residences and an addition of ‘only’ 50 more houses will treble the traffic on a road that is steep, narrow and has two blind bends

– it is a fact that Harewood Avenue is narrow and lined with oaks which make it impossible for two large vehicles to pass each other. Almond has two blind bends and one narrow corner. These will be main access roads from Irene to the new development

– it is a fact that most of the estate has no footpaths and everyone has to walk on the road. There are serious safety issues here.

– it is a fact that there is plenty of development land available in Somerset West which does not involve moving the urban edge and which can be accessed through an adequate, safe, road system.

Friends of Helderberg Estate