Ratepayers Association clarify position on Holy Trinity Church fence

The Kalk Bay and St James Residents & Ratepayers Association would like to clarify its position on the perimeter fence being constructed around the Holy Trinity Church.

The Association does not in principle object to landowners securing their properties with perimeter fencing. The concern raised by the Association is that the Church commenced construction of a fence without building approval as required by the National Building Act.

Our committee is dedicated to protecting Kalk Bay’s unique architectural heritage and townscape. The Church’s case is no different from many other initiatives which we have been involved in.

We liaise with the City’s Urban Conservation branch on an almost weekly basis to assess applications for new work and alterations, a great number of them for new fences. These fence applications are always approved once they adhere to the guidelines for fences in heritage areas (these documents are freely available for download from our website).

Regrettably there already exists a large number of unapproved fences, the progress of which, unchecked, will give Kalk Bay the appearance of a medium-security prison. Unfortunately, due to municipal procedure, it is much easier to stop unapproved building work underway, than to have it demolished after the fact.

Our committee volunteers much of its free-time to protect our townscape. On occasion we’ve had the unpleasant task of fighting detrimental developments up to the level of making submissions to the office of Heritage Western Cape or opposing appeals to the premier.

When our committee noticed the erection of a new fence on the most scenic section of Gatesville Rd we queried this with the building inspector, since we had not received any plans for the project.

He visited the site and issued a cease works notice when it became clear that no building approval had been granted.

Despite the cease works order the Church Council continued with their construction.

After their disregard of this cease works order, our committee arranged an emergency meeting with the Church Council and sent them a formal letter explaining that, if they were unwilling to cooperate, our committee would have no option but to ask a Court to halt the unlawful building work.

The decision to follow this approach was not taken lightly. It was only resorted to after all attempts to engage, co-operatively, with the Church Council had proved unsuccessful.

Since then the Registrar: Diocese of False Bay has advised us that the Church Council will now submit to the standard process and seek municipal and heritage approval for the fence.

We look forward to receiving an application which would do justice to the old Church’s scenic location and panoramic views, whilst providing the church-goers with the full security they seek.

Sincerely

Roelf Jansen

Chairman

Kalk Bay and St James Residents and Ratepayers Association

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