Ward 17 urged to attend meeting to review development plan

24 Mar, 2023 - 00:03 0 Views
Ward 17 urged to attend meeting to review development plan The meeting will discuss implications of three-storey buildings such as the retail complex at corner Edinburgh Road and Campbell Road.


Suburban Reporters

RESIDENTS and ratepayers from Ward 17 have been invited to attend a meeting to review the Borrowdale Racecourse Local Development Plan Number 44 on Saturday March 25, 2023

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.

In an invite to the meeting, Harare Ward 17 Residents Association (HW17RA) encouraged residents and ratepayers to attend Saturday’s meeting scheduled for 1400 hours until 1600 hours at Northside Community Church Hall along Edinburgh Road near Pomona Shopping Centre.

“To be discussed at this meeting is a Local Development Plan. Residents and ratepayers need to know what is in these plans and give their input as there may be significant short-term and long-term implications that could affect them,” HW17RA said in the invite.

The residents’ association said these implications include:

  • Densification, developments, and land use changes 
  • “Free permit” land next door or nearby, i.e. land used for purposes other than residential such as service station, pre-school, office block, play centre, bar, take-away, restaurant, shop etc. as long as the EIA (environmental impact assessment) is approved and by-laws followed
  • Three-storey (or higher) buildings, with up to 40 percent of property land coverage allowed
  • Current and proposed infrastructure developments
  • Developments that may be beneficial or detrimental

The invite was circulated in the Ward 17, Ward 18 and Ward 8 residents’ WhatsApp groups.

HW17RA chairperson Mr Lance Nkomozepi encouraged residents and different stakeholders to attend the meeting as their input is key. 

“Local Development Plans are revised from time to time, occasionally sponsored by developers or other private institutions. Stakeholder engagement and input is needed at these Local Development Plan meetings otherwise residents and ratepayers/ other stakeholders do not know what is happening in their areas and may be too late to make any objections or suggestions to the plan for their areas. Residents are also advised to check the latest Plan 32. A few residents were aware of the development of this document and its emergence has created panic amongst residents of the area concerned,” said Mr Nkomozepi.

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.

At the first meeting Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume spoke about the importance of the local development plan preparation and highlighted gaps where the city requires new local plans. 

The city’s acting principal for forward and strategic planning Ms Wadzanai Vhutuza said the preparation process will focus on the review of the Local Development Plan which has not been revisited since its initial approval on December 19, 2002 yet plans are supposed to be reviewed every five years. 

The boundary of the local plan will span from Churchill Avenue East to the South, Golden Stairs Road and Second Street Extension to the West, Clivedon, Denharm and Orange Groove Drive to the East and The Chase, Whitwell Road and Ridgeway North to the North. 

The area stretching from Sam Nujoma Street (Second Street) to Borrowdale Road (Liberation Legacy Way) was previously covered by a scheme of 1977 which will now be superseded by the new local plan, Ms Vhutuza told the meeting. 

“The current planning area has thus been lagging behind in terms of updating the land use zoning framework. The major anchor activity centres in the area include the Borrowdale Racecourse, the University of Zimbabwe and Groombridge Shopping Centre, whereas the major suburbs include Highlands, Gunhill, Alex Park and Mt Pleasant,” said Ms Vhutuza.

Mr Muderere said the objectives of the review of a local development plan will among other things focus on fulfilling conditions of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act incorporating current National Government and local authority policies and contemporary global best practices.

“We will need to meet conditions of the environmental quality of the planning area to promote health, safety and amenity to the residents of the area, refresh and upgrade planning and development control framework in the planning area and to respond to bulk infrastructure requirements in term of roads, sewer and water availability.  

As part of the preparation process a team headed by the consultant shall now move into the study area and carry out studies which will form the basis of our preparation process. 

Studies will include traffic counts, land use study together with the age and condition of buildings in the study area, household socio-economic studies, infrastructure status and potential capacity on-site and off-site, stakeholder consultation through specific questionnaires, face to face interviews, focus group discussions, consultation with relevant Ministries and Government departments (and) population demographic studies,” said Mr Muderere.

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