Stink over sewerage line for Kyalami mall

Posted On Wednesday, 18 May 2016 12:08 Published by
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An environmental group has applied for the legal review of a sewerage line being built on Kyalami agricultural holdings to service a shopping centre development in the area.

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An environmental group has applied for the legal review of a sewerage line being built on Kyalami agricultural holdings to service a shopping centre development in the area.

JSE-listed The Pivotal Fund’s Kyalami Corner shopping centre has faced opposition from residents since last year, but the company says its building plans and practices have met environmental regulations and are not damaging the country living estate, or disturbing its R1bn equine industry.

Kyalami is the biggest equine area in SA and is home to the largest concentration of Lipizzaners in Africa. The South African Lipizzaner Centre in Kyalami is the only breeding establishment for Lipizzaners in Africa, and the only registered Lipizzaner riding school outside of Vienna, Austria.

Property group Abland is the project manager for the R402m Kyalami Corner, which is coowned by Kyalami Retail Village and Pivotal.

The Greater Kyalami Conservancy (Gekco) and some residents have brought a high court application against the Gauteng department of agriculture and rural development in connection with the sewer line.

“The sewerage line was approved, but the study had many flaws, one of which is that it was done on a storm water drain, and not a sewer line, and so we are contesting its validity,” said Anton van Niekerk, a resident and member of the conservancy. A number of groups have said the shopping centre would disturb the country living estate and environment.

They say there are various other centres nearby, as well as the recently opened Mall of Africa in Midrand.

Pivotal development manager Nick Stephenson said the sewer line was well-supported and was being built correctly to approved specifications.

“Some Kyalami residents may indeed be against the sewer line, but many are in support. Current sewage treatment in Kyalami is via septic tanks. All procedures and approval processes have been complied with, and the residents have had the opportunity to object as allowed for in the process,” he said.

Van Niekerk said Pivotal should not be building if it could not guarantee services to the mall, and building should not be taking place late into the night, disturbing residents and the equine businesses.

“There are sufficient services for the shopping centre, and the building commenced within approvals which were granted. Work is proceeding within hours approved by the local authority,” Stephenson said.

Pivotal CEO Jackie van Niekerk, who is no relation of Gekco’s van Niekerk, said Gekco had gone to the department to try to get an urgent application to stop development from proceeding. However, this had been overturned in court.

“The urgent application was thrown out of court, with punitive costs awarded to the developers. We continue to operate within our environmental and development rights, and have been through the environmental public-participation process.”

Gekco chairwoman Kristin Kallesen said her organisation had not tried to obtain an interdict to stop the development from going ahead.

“Gauteng environmental management inspectors issued a noncompliance notice, as the development in progress does not meet the conditions of the Environmental Authorisation granted in 2011.

“We understand this was appealed by Pivotal, who won an urgent interdict against the Gauteng authority to continue with construction, pending a review of the compliance notice,” Kallesen said.

She said a survey distributed to residents’ associations in the area last year indicated that 68% of 519 residents surveyed did not want municipal-piped sewerage if it would lead to further development of the area.All procedures and approval processes have been complied with.

source" Business Day

Last modified on Wednesday, 18 May 2016 12:28

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