Shocking lack of adherence to by-laws

09 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views

Suburban

The dispute between Highlands residents and a developer over the construction of high-rise flats along Montgomery Road in Harare has once brought to the fore disputes arising from urban development and the rights of residents in low-density areas. The residents’ objections to the construction, based on alleged violations of city by-laws and building regulations, underscore the importance of transparent and consultative urban planning processes.

The crux of the residents’ objection lies in the perceived lack of adherence to building regulations, with concerns raised about the absence of prior notification to adjacent neighbours, the potential traffic hazards posed by the location of the access point, and the alleged violation of building lines and the number of structures permitted on the lot. These objections reflect a deep-seated apprehension about the potential impact of the high-rise flats on the character and infrastructure of the area, particularly in relation to the density of occupants and the strain on existing infrastructure.

The developer’s purported attempt to secure retroactive consent from residents, while the construction is already near completion, adds a layer of distrust and raises questions about the sincerity of the developer’s engagement with the community.

Furthermore, reports of builders intruding into neighbours’ privacy and alleged attempts to rush the development process further exacerbate the tensions between the developer and the residents.

The situation in Greendale, where residents are contesting the proposed construction of double-storey cluster houses, reflects a similar sentiment of apprehension and resistance towards unchecked urban development. The concerns expressed by Greendale residents about the strain on water and sewer infrastructure, coupled with allegations of inadequate consultation and ambiguous building plans, mirror the anxieties of the Highlands residents.

These disputes underscore the need for robust and inclusive urban planning processes that prioritise the input and concerns of residents. Meaningful consultation and compliance with building regulations are essential to fostering a harmonious coexistence between developers and communities.

The transparency of the development process, including clear communication of building plans and adherence to environmental impact assessments, is crucial in building trust and addressing the legitimate concerns of residents.

It is imperative for the City of Harare to thoroughly investigate the objections raised by the residents and ensure that the construction projects adhere to the stipulated by-laws and regulations. Additionally, the developers must engage in genuine and open dialogue with the affected communities to address their concerns and work towards a mutually beneficial resolution.

Ultimately, these disputes highlight the delicate balance between urban development and the preservation of the character and infrastructure of established neighbourhoods. The voices of residents must be heard and respected in shaping the future of their communities, and it is incumbent upon all stakeholders to work towards a collaborative and sustainable approach to urban development.

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