Councillor’s Corner: Development, then nothing?

Philip Kruger is the councillor for Ward 86 and answers this week's question. Photo: File

This week, Lynette Retief from Albertville asked:
I would like to know what is happening at the building site that borders Plein, Main and Twist streets.
The foundations were dug, trees were removed and then … nothing.
Everything stopped and nobody seems to know what is happening.
I have on numerous occasions contacted councillors but am still waiting for a reply.
The dust and dirt are really a big problem.
Philip Kruger, Ward 86 councillor, answered:
Planning and Building Control are currently investigating this particular property.
The property in question is owned and is zoned for high-density residential development. Development started with the digging of foundations but was halted. When owners shirk their responsibilities, unwanted consequences inevitably follow, including illegal dumping, squatting, criminal activities, etc.
The Problem Properties Bylaw of 2014 allows for Planning and Building Control to determine whether the property in question is indeed not being developed. If that is the case, it is handed over to Environmental Health, and once it has been reported, a process starts which aims to get the owner to accept responsibility for the property, or Environmental Health will clean the property, and the expenses will be for the owner’s bill.
Also, when residents feel that councillors do not respond in a timely manner, they can approach the councillors’ political heads who will take up the matter with the councillors. If, after that, the residents are still not satisfied, they can approach the party whips in council or the speaker of council.
Do you have a question for a ward councillor?
As a local newspaper, the Northcliff Melville Times provides a platform for residents to learn about, understand and follow local government. As an extension of that, we have introduced a weekly column called, Councillor’s Corner. Councillor’s Corner is a platform for you, our readers, to voice your concerns or questions and for ward councillors to respond to them.
Different, willing, ward councillors will respond to a question every week.
Email your burning question to [email protected] and let’s get the ball rolling.

Chantelle Fourie
Metro Reporter

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