More on urban growth

I taught in several colleges in United Kingdom and America, that used the process of selling their land to enhance their academic and sporting facilities. When I moved to Somerset West, it was to Helderberg College that I made a donation of many books. It is an excellent college.

John Simpson maintains that fifty houses will have no discernible negative impact, but this is only part of the picture. As Dr Bernhard Ficker pointed out in the previous Bolander, in the time he has been in Somerset West, the town has grown in all directions. At the present moment there are properties under construction from Sitari to Sir Lowry’s Pass Village.

We should be looking at our situation and examining what is going on elsewhere and could go wrong here.

So the fifty houses we just mentioned want swimming pools, and so no doubt do many of the other hundreds of new properties. We are in the middle of a drought. Where is all this extra water coming from? Are we building dams? We have thousands of miles of coastline. Do we extract water from the sea as do Israel and The Emirates. One thing is clear, we cannot go on the way we are building with limited resources.

How long do we spend caught in traffic and can’t find a parking slot when we get to Waterstone? We are having a drought at the moment but let us not forget the flooding of many homes and Vergelegen Medi-Clinic,when our drains could not handle the run off from so many new homes.

We need to make sure that we do not copy Benidorm in Spain for example. Ten years of uncontrolled booming building and now many houses and apartments lie half finished or abandoned as people moved away to less congested locations.

On the front page of last weeks Financial Times Weekend we read that Barcelona has outlawed new Hotels in the city centre to try to control hordes of visitors who authorities say threaten to suffocate this popular destination.

I trust these examples and comments help to make us aware of the necessity of long term planning.

Tom Dooley

Somerset West