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Sol gets tough on illegal building

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Failure to remove the structure will result in the municipality obtaining a court order.

Picture: Chris Collingridge 488

THE SOL Plaatje Municipality is adopting a tough stance against transgressors of its building regulations policy after a business in Long Street was ordered to remove a structure because the building plans were not approved.

According to a document drawn up by the municipality’s urban planning division, failure to remove the structure will result in the municipality obtaining a court order.

According to the report regarding the carports next to BMW in Long Street, municipal officials conducted a site visit in March.

The portion of land involved, which forms part of a bypass route, has been leased to the applicant for a period of three years from February 2017.

Although plans were submitted to the municipality for the erection of the proposed carports on the site, these were turned down because the site is on a proclaimed road.

The applicant, however, has, according to the report, not adhered to a letter from the municipality requesting him to stop the erection of the carports.

“The building plans for the development have not been approved and the applicant has commenced with construction without having approved building plans,” the report states.

“The matter has been forwarded to the legal department for intervention. A notice of disapproval by the roads and stormwater sub-directorate will be issued, giving the applicant time to remove the structure.

“If he fails to adhere, the municipality will follow the legal process in obtaining a court order to remove the structure at full cost to the applicant,” the report states.

A similar investigation into the use of a portion of the farm Bultfontein by the CRC Church was found to be legal.

According to the report by the urban planning division, an investigation was done into the ownership and sub-division of the land involved.

The report shows that the property was owned by Andries Brink van der Merwe and in 2002 it was bought by Andre Visagie for R250 000.

In 2007, Christian Revival Church bought the property for R3.2 million.

The erf was sub-divided into 17 erven with one portion rezoned to “special” for the purpose of a church and was approved by the city council in 2011.

“In a nutshell, the land uses on the site are permitted as per council resolution and there are no illegal land uses on the site.”

Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson, Sello Matsie, said yesterday that the reasons why applications were turned down often related to safety concerns. “Other factors that are looked at include traffic issues or electrical capacity.

“The point is that there are serious reasons why applications are turned down and at the end of the day, the safety of our residents is paramount.

“Therefore, we appeal to both residents and consumers not to erect structures until the planning application has been approved.”

He conceded that sometimes the internal processes were slow and could be frustrating.

“This is, however, being looked at and constantly raised by management.”

According to Matsie, plans were sometimes submitted and “the next day the applicant starts building”.

“This situation will not be tolerated and we will take a tough stance on those who do not adhere to building regulations.”