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Bo-Kaap Civi Association welcomes dismissal of Any Side Investments appeal

In December last year, the heritage body turned down an application by Any Side Investments to amend a 2007 demolition permit related to 150 Buitengracht Street.

Bo-Kaap residents protesting against the gentrification of the area outside the Western Cape High Court. Picture: @bokaaprise/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association has welcomed Heritage Western Cape's dismissal of an appeal by a property developer.

In December, the heritage body turned down an application by Any Side Investments to amend a 2007 demolition permit related to 150 Buitengracht Street.

The developer appealed the decision on Wednesday, but this too was dismissed.

Any Side Investments acquired the property in 2017 with the intention of developing an apartment complex.

The previous owner's plan to replace a 60-year old structure with a nine-storey building was approved by Heritage Western Cape's Built Environment and Landscape Committee in 2008, but it never went ahead.

The new owner wants to improve on the design, but it cannot do so unless the old building plans are amended.

The Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association's Jacky Poking says they're happy with heritage body's latest decision to dismiss an application to amend.

"We hope that maybe sends a message to other developers that it's not going to be that easy to get your plans through anymore. It seems that the Bo-Kaap is being heard."

Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town's public participation process on the proposed Heritage Protection Overlay Zone in Bo-Kaap ends on Friday.

The development of the building could still be on the cards, according to Any Side Investments director Zane De Decker.

De Decker says the HWC's decision doesn't mean they can't continue with the development, it means they have to stick to the old building plans of the former site owner.

"The currently approved design dates back to about 10 years ago. Our intention was to approve that design and essentially build a better building, however, now with the appeal being dismissed, it looks like we are actually forced to build the prior design."

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)