RESIDENTS of Ward 8 and Ward 17 have been invited to participate in a meeting to review the Borrowdale Racecourse Development Plan Number 44 scheduled for this Saturday, September 17 2022.
The City of Harare sent out a notice inviting residents of the two wards to attend the review meeting to be held at the Northside Community Church Hall opposite the CBZ Wealth Centre along Edinburgh Avenue at Pomona Shopping Centre between 1400hours and 1600hours.
Ward 8 encompasses Highlands, Chisipite, Newlands, Ballantyne Park, Colne Valley while Ward 17 is made up of Mt Pleasant, Northwood, Groombridge, Arundel, Vainona, Pomona, Borrowdale West and Mt Pleasant Heights.
The stakeholders meeting is the first stage of the statutory procedure for the preparation of a local plan upon council resolution in terms of Part IV of the Regional, Town Country Planning Act Chapter 29:12 of 1996 as revised.
Public participation is one of the epitomes of public policy making hence the importance of creating a platform for residents and property owners to not only participate at the very preliminary stages of planning but also successive stages of the local planning process.
Urban planning experts say residents should not be recipients of development control instruments but proud creators of land use rights and parameters that enable them to achieve their own destiny.
The Borrowdale Racecourse Local Plan will create a programme of works for council for the next five to 10 years that addresses key infrastructure issues, land use development control and mediate socio-economic imperatives for the planning area.
To this end, it is imperative for residents to be involved in making decisions that affect their living environment as well as property rights.
The proposed stakeholders meeting is essentially the inception stage in planning law procedure where residents and or property owners (stakeholders) are alerted of the resolution made by Harare City Council in terms of Part 4 of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act of 1996 as read together with the Master and Local Plans Regulations 248 of 1977. Section 20 Subsection 1 of the Act requires Local Planning Authorities to keep all approved local plans under constant examination and review factors which affect or are likely to affect the planning area and if a result of such review and upon detailed studies the assumptions upon which the local plan is based are found to be no longer valid, council may consider appropriate proposals or the alteration or replacement of such plan.
“It is like a Constitution-making process where the views, aspirations and or desires of citizens are collated to inform the constitutional provisions. …the planning Act is subservient to the Constitution and thus encourages Constitutional privileges of citizen participation in local governance,” Mr Trymore Muderere of Development Studio Africa (Pvt) Ltd a firm of consulting Town Planners, Designers, Engineers, Real Estate Specialists, Geographic Information Systems, Remote Sensing and Environmental Scientists told Suburban in 2017 ahead of the review of the Borrowdale Local Plan Number 32.
The review meeting offers residents the opportunity to comment and suggest solutions.
A local plan should have a life span of five years and the suggestions made at Saturday’s meeting will be used to control land use, implement desired development through land use zoning and develop a new programme of works for the area.
Mr Muderere said the Harare Combination Masterplan and Statutory Instrument 216 of 1994 have specific proposals which need to be infused into all of the City of Harare’s local plans and the review should reflect on those if the City is to meet its targets to be a World Class City by 2025.
“There are issues that can be looked at in a review, for example, property owners should be allowed to subdivide their properties to realistic sizes, explore feasible building heights in light of smart growth principles among others. Some areas have a traffic menace and these should be studied through a local plan and traffic calming measures proposed for implemented.
“Essentially it is the object of urban planning to uphold public interest and to implement the objects of the Act to foster the planning of local areas with the object of conserving and improving the physical environment and in particular promoting order, health, safety, amenity, economy, convenience, efficiency and improvement in communications. A local plan can help council achieve these objects through providing a statutory tool for the control of development, including use of land and buildings, to regulate the subdivision and the consolidation of pieces of land and to provide for such matters incidental to or connected to the local planning area,” he said.