Old Edwardian Society
In our continuing endeavours to keep members up to date with progress on the proposed development of the Society’s facilities and grounds, we can advise that the following has taken place since our newsletter of January.
As we mentioned in our last newsletter, eleven objections have been received. Steve Jaspan has met with some of the objectors and has given a detailed explanation as to why we feel the development is necessary, what it entails, and the effect on those living close by to the club. These meetings are on going and we are confident that those who are, at this stage, objectors will soon have a full understanding of our plans and then support the proposed development. We believe that many of the objectors have misunderstood the content of the application.
We can add that Virgin Active has been fully appraised of the plans, and by and large are impressed.
The Traffic and Infra-structure Survey is continuing and is expected to be completed by the end of the month.
An Environmental Impact Study is to be undertaken in the near future.
MEETINGS WITH SUB CLUBS
These are the most important components of the plan at the moment and meetings have begun. It is heart warming to note that the majority of the six sub clubs with whom we have met have been constructive and upbeat in their approach. It is obvious that the main mood of sub clubs is that the development is in the overall interest of the Society as a whole, and those who have reservations at this stage will, in due course, we hope become similarly enthusiastic about the changes.
The meetings with the remaining sub clubs will be concluded within the next week and comments collated before the month end. After that the requests submitted by them will be forwarded to the architects for their consideration as to how they impact on the overall plan as they see it, and to amend the plan accordingly.
It must be remembered that we have limited space due to the sitting of Virgin Active and the clubhouse, and we do not have the luxury of starting from scratch which would be a totally different scenario and approach.
We have suggested to the developer that a forum be held next month for sub clubs and members to ask questions and meet the developer and professional team. We feel confident that the developer will be amenable to this.
ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE OLD
EDWARDIAN SOCIETY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
In order to keep our members fully up to date with progress on the redevelopment of the Society’s facilities, it is our intention to publish a newsletter on, at least, a monthly basis. However, should any major news become apparent, this will be communicated to you on a more regular basis.
From our point of view it is imperative that the members know what is happening at all times and even if progress is quiet or slow, you will be advised. This is particularly relevant as there will be no sign of any activity on the premises for at least a year and therefore, the impression may be that “nothing” is happening. With a project such as this there is an incredible amount of “behind the scenes” work and negotiation that has to take place before the first signs of building or alterations will be seen.
So where do we stand?
The rezoning application was submitted in November 2007.
The time period for objections has closed, and in all, eleven were received. These were mostly, if not all, from local residents. Steve Jaspan, who is assisting the Developer with the Town Planning requirements, will meet personally with those people, and will fully explain the proposed plans to them and he is confident that most if not all objectors will, at the end of the day, be satisfied. This interaction is to take place during February. Should we be unable to satisfy all the objectors, then a hearing will have to take place which would be, at the earliest in June, or even as late as September.
He has already met with the Ratepayers Association who indicated support for the basic plan in principle but have asked, inter alia, for any building that is to be constructed to be no more than three stories in height.
Various technical reports have to be submitted to the Johannesburg Council, some prepared by the Council themselves and some by the Professional team on the proposed project. One is a Traffic Impact Study but as there will be no increase in either business or activities on the premises, this Study is not expected to have any adverse effect on the project. The entrance to the Apartments which are envisaged to be built on the site of the present tennis courts, will be in 3rd Street and therefore have no adverse impact on the busy main road, namely 11th Avenue.
All reports are expected to be in the hands of the Council by the end of February. Following these reports, we will have a reasonable idea as to how Council will react.
It must be stressed that our plans are in line with Council’s Policy and Vision for Johannesburg. That is to say that they are looking for increased residential densities on arterial roads and 11th Avenue falls within that category.
From an internal point of view, the most important action now is for sub- clubs to complete and return the questionnaire that Kevin Webber has sent out. So far very few completed forms have been received. Until these forms are completed, and the sub-clubs have nominated their representatives to negotiate their specific requirements with Kevin Webber’s sub-committee, no progress on this front can be achieved. It is in your own sub-clubs interest to attend to this as soon as possible in order that any specific requirements you may require can be studied and then passed onto the architects for further action.
Kevin and the Sub-Committee will be setting up meetings with Sub-Club representatives early in February.
No detailed architects drawings can be prepared for submission to the Executive until such requirements have been discussed and agreed, so it is imperative that the various sub-clubs act on the forms that they have received with the minimum of any further delay.
We expect this exercise to take at least six months to complete once discussions start with the sub clubs.
The rezoning application submitted to the Council is to allow for the proposed building of the apartments. Again, we stress that the area for building such apartments is restricted to approximately the 5 acres currently housing the tennis courts, swimming pool, basketball court and car park area between the tennis courts and the main Oval. The rest of the sporting facilities will not be affected.
We again stress that it is highly unlikely that any evidence of builders on site will be seen during 2008 so it is “business as usual” for all sub clubs during this year.
Should anyone have any specific questions with regard to the Town Planning aspects of these proposed developments, they can call Steve Jaspan on 011 7280042.
ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE OLD EDWARDIAN SOCIETY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE