THE 2006 SDF PROCESS AND THE FORUM FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Dr. Chris Mulder’s significant opposition to the draft SDF for Knysna in 2006 further emphasises how much interest he has in the outcome of the current SDF review. Details of the process are set out hereunder.
In 2006, Dr. Mulder headed the Forum for Sustainable Development (Forum). The Forum presented a detailed submission, in support of their opposition to the draft SDF, including a detailed map, setting out the Forum’s proposed or alternate urban edge for Knysna. This was a much wider urban edge than proposed by the municipality and in conflict with provincial guidelines.
The alternate urban edge included the entire Eastern Head area, including the Woodbourne Farm. Two proposed developments, located outside the municipality’s urban edge, were named and included in the alternate urban edge by the Forum. These were Uitzicht and the Knysna River Reserve. Uitzicht was CMAI’s proposed development for Barlows. CNDV Southern Cape, headed by Mr. Mike Maughan-Brown, was tasked with obtaining the planning approval for the Knysna River Reserve development. From the information above it appears likely that Mr Maughan-Brown’s firm, CNDV Southern Cape, was a member of the forum, or was cooperating with the Forum to oppose the Knysna Municipality’s urban edge intention.
Mr. Maughan-Brown made no secret of his opinion that the current Knysna SDF had been poorly drafted and did not comply with the requirements for an SDF. More recently, in March this year, Mr. Maughan-Brown advised Ms. Campbell that an extensive review of the SDF was required as too much emphasis was placed on biodiversity when the current SDF was adopted.
The document submitted by the Forum contains a similar statement under the heading.
“5. URBAN EDGE
It appears that the edge was mainly determined by environmental considerations. This is in direct contrast with one of the NEMA principles that states that Environmental Management must place people and their need at the forefront of this concern.” Statistics in support of the submission by the Forum, were provided by Urban Econ, part of Knysna Creative Heads Consortium.
Under the heading “7.CALCULATION OF SUPPLY OF DEVELOPABLE LAND WITHIN THE KNYSNA URBAN EDGE”, the following is stated:
“The SDF makes the statement that this area can still provide for urban development until 2010. Our study indicates that by 2007 there will be no more developable land.”
This statement is based on statistics provided by Urban Econ. With the benefit of hindsight, it is clear that the projections contained in the SDF were accurate and that Urban Econ got it wrong. In fact, in 2013 the land provided for future growth in the current SDF is still adequate, due to the collapse of the property market in 2008. This collapse was apparently not foreseen by Urban Econ.
The importance of the urban edge to developers specialising in upmarket estates, outside the urban edge, such as CMAI, is highlighted under the heading “12. EFFECT OF A TIGHT URBAN EDGE ON THE PROPERTY MARKET.”
“The areas of densification of conventional urban development will make provision for that part of the population that choose (sic) to reside in conventional town areas.”
“Apart from ‘normal’ growth, the growth in the more expensive market also has to be provided for because it is in this market where the greatest potential is to alleviate poverty and allow “capital” to be created for the poorer and less privileged part of the community.”
The map containing the alternate urban edge was published in the Knysna Plett Herald in August 2006.
Since the adoption of the current SDF, the entire town planning staff has changed and (Knysna Municpality’s) Planning Directorate is now headed by Mr. Maughan-Brown. Dr. Mulder has obviously built up a good relationship with the municipality and planning department, as is evidenced by the Rheenendal structure plan arrangement. With the exception of Mr. Maughan-Brown, none of the staff were around to witness the public outcry around Uitzicht and the failed attempt by Dr. Mulder to try to include Uitzicht in the urban edge.
Click here to read:
- Environmental Groups Object 1: ISDF Tender Award & Chris Mulder
- Environmental Groups Object 2: CMAI & Chris Mulder’s Plans
- Environmental Groups Object 3: PG Bison/500 Houses for Rheenendal?
- Environmental Groups Object 4: PG Bison Bullies Environmentalists
- Environmental Groups Object 5: Mike Maughan-Brown
- Environmental Groups Object 6: Conflicts of Interest