THE second review meeting called to discuss the Borrowdale Racecourse Local Development Plan Number 44 on Saturday March 25, 2023 is key to residents and ratepayers of Ward 17 and other affected wards as it comes on the back of recent concerns to developments taking place in the area.
The first meeting to review the Borrowdale Racecourse Local Development Plan Number 44 was held in September last year with residents, environmental protection groups, the business community, council officials, councillors and Members of Parliament participating in the process.
The September meeting was the first of a series of meetings to review the plan. A second meeting which had been scheduled for October 8, 2022 was postponed with council officials saying they would advise stakeholders of the new date of the meeting.
Saturday’s meeting is scheduled for 1400 hours until 1600 hours at Northside Community Church Hall along Edinburgh Road near Pomona Shopping Centre.
In February, Ward 17 residents said they were concerned with the City of Harare’s indifference to their grievances over the new commercial and housing developments in the ward.
The residents made the comments in the wake of a new development, a three-storey retail complex, taking place at the corner of Campbell Road and Edinburgh Road, directly opposite the Pomona food court.
The residents said they were worried because the new developments are taking place without a corresponding expansion of infrastructure to cater for the occupants of the new buildings going up in the ward. In December last year, Ward 17 residents pleaded with the City of Harare to respect their views on new flats and cluster housing developments in the ward.
The residents made the comments following reports that there was a planned development at Number 47 and Number 49 Edinburgh Road in Mt Pleasant.
Residents from adjoining properties objected to the planned development of 80 three-storey flats at Number 47 and 49 Edinburgh Road.
“None of the surrounding neighbouring properties were ever consulted. We had 44 people from the neighbourhood write objection letters to the fact that 80 flats are going to put too much pressure on the neighbourhood’s sewer system, water and electricity as well as the privacy to the neighbouring properties. Copies of these objections letters were delivered to EMA (Environmental Management Agency), City of Harare and town planning but these seem to have been ignored,” said a resident from Edinburgh Road.
The Borrowdale Racecourse Local Development Plan number 44 is being prepared with the assistance of a consultant Development Studio Africa (Private) Limited represented by Mr Trymore Muderere in terms of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act and the Regional, Town and Country Planning (Master and Local Plans) Regulations, Government Notice Number 248 of 1977 which empowers the Local Planning Authority to keep Local and Master Plans under constant examination and establish the desirability of amending, reviewing and or preparation of news ones in light of emerging trends.
Upon completion of studies the consultant and the city will analyse the data and produce a report of the study and written statement (which will result in the draft local development plan). The first draft will be presented to council and the city’s director of works shall then present a report to council seeking for the adoption of the draft local development plan. Once adopted the Minister of Local Government and Public Works will be notified of the Local Planning Authority’s decision and the Local Development Plan will be placed on public display for eight weeks at Highlands District Office, Mt Pleasant District Office, Cleveland House and the Harare City website. During this period another stakeholders’ meeting will be convened to discuss the adopted local plan.
During the public display period, registers shall be opened at all the display centres to facilitate for comments, representations and objections. The public shall be informed through three mandatory newspaper notices, social media and website.
Residents and stakeholders are encouraged to come and have a look at the adopted local development plan with a view to contributing to the finalisation of the plan preparation process. After the display period, the planning team will consider the input from the public.
Any suggestions of a material nature that may address any shortcomings or enhance the performance of the local development plan will be incorporated into the final edition of the local plan.
Any objections that may come up will also be addressed prior to finalisation of the local plan. After this the local development plan will be approved. Upon the final modification, if necessary, of the document and accompanying maps, the director of works will then again present the local development plan seeking its approval by council. The local development plan is approved after two sittings, first the Environmental Management Committee and then the full council.