Decision on Appeals: Green Point Common Development
Western Cape Provincial Minister: Environment, Planning And Economic Development
I am pleased to announce the following decisions, namely:
- To uphold, with certain variations, my Department's environmental authorisation (Record of Decision) for the proposed new stadium and urban park at the Green Point Common, and
- To approve the following planning applications
- an application in terms of section 9(2) of the Land Use Planning Ordinance 15 of 1985 ('LUPO') for the amendment of Schedule 2 to the Zoning Scheme, by excluding the stadium precinct from the area of the Green Point Common designated for 'playing fields';
- an application in terms of section 18 of LUPO for the rezoning of the stadium precinct from Public Open Space to Community Facilities Use Zone in terms the applicable Zoning Scheme;
- an application for a departure from the number of on site parking bays for the stadium required by section 77(1) of the Zoning Scheme; and
- an application for a temporary departure from the Zoning Scheme to allow FIFA to use land adjacent to the stadium precinct for temporary parking, a hospitality area and associated uses during the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament.
I am convinced that far from having a substantial detrimental effect on the environment, overall the new stadium and urban park on Green Point Common will have a beneficial impact on the local environment and will benefit the broader Cape Town community.
I am also satisfied that the conditions incorporated into my environmental Record of Decision and my planning decision, will mitigate the adverse impacts of the construction and operation of the stadium and urban park. For example, there are conditions in my environmental Record of Decision limiting the height and addressing the visual impact of the stadium and its surrounding podium; a range of noise mitigation measures is required; and several conditions deal with roads, transport to and from the stadium and parking.
The key variation in my environmental Record of Decision now requires the applicant (i.e. the City) to compile Site Development Plans for the new Urban Park for the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament and for the period after 2010. The Architectural and Landscaping Guidelines and the Site Development Plans for the Urban Park must be submitted to me for approval within six months of the date of issue of my decision. The submission of the Site Development Plans must be:
- preceded by the submission to me for approval within one month of the date of issue of my environmental Record of Decision of a plan for a comprehensive process of public participation, which includes the provision of information to and consultation with the broader Cape Town community and the communities in the vicinity of the urban park; and
- accompanied by proof of compliance with the approved public participation process.
This condition of approval will not hold up the construction activities on the stadium precinct. It will give everyone in Cape Town and those living in the immediate vicinity an opportunity to determine the future layout of the urban park on the remainder of Green Point Common, which is to be retained as a sport, recreational and public open space. If properly developed and operated, it can be a green lung of metropolitan significance. My conditions specifically require that the urban park be a multi-purpose space for sporting activities, informal trading and recreational activities and not simply a reorganisation of the existing sports fields and golf course or an outflow area for the stadium.
My environmental Record of Decision includes a section setting out the key factors affecting my decision. Both my environmental decision and my planning decisions were based on memoranda from my Department, which were prepared in conjunction with me and with which I generally agree. The key factors which led to my decisions, include the following:
The Planning context
The opportunity this proposal presents is the realisation of the Green Point Common as a public amenity of metropolitan significance, in line with the Green Point Development Framework. The benefits of this amenity to the broader public outweigh any potential negative environmental impacts that could be experienced by the immediate communities of Green Point, Mouille Point and Granger Bay .
The City is currently negotiating with the National Treasury about its request for a contribution of R2 billion towards the cost of building the stadium. Although the stadium will first be used for the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament, thereafter it will be used for a wide range of other events. In this way the significant investment in the stadium by the National Government in particular will be available to the broader Cape Town community.
If adequate funding is forthcoming from the National Government - I have currently no reason for thinking that it will not be - the positive economic impacts of the development for Cape Town will be highly significant. These include huge economic opportunities presented by this proposal, especially public and private sector investments, job creation and added tourism expenditure in Cape Town pre- and post-2010. The construction itself will significantly stimulate a variety of economic sectors, the benefits of which will be felt in the whole of Cape Town and to a lesser degree throughout the province.
The heritage specialist concluded that the historical recreational role of the Green Point Common will be reinforced by the proposed stadium development. There will be a progression from the Green Point Common being one of the first sporting areas in Cape Town to a site containing a facility of broader national and international significance, thus contributing positively to the historic layering of the Green Point Common.
The development of the stadium on the golf course site presents opportunities for the preservation and celebration of historic and cultural activities through linkages to surrounding heritage resources such as Fort Wynyard , Somerset Hospital and the Green Point Track. The position of the stadium on the golf course further provides a better opportunity for the possible accommodation of the existing sporting codes, as well as for the rationalization of land and resources and the retention of distinctive boundaries between green and built forms.
According to the noise specialists, the impact of noise due to the events that will occur at both stadium alternatives will be a high negative impact. However, with appropriate mitigation measures, now stipulated in my decision, the noise impact will be reduced to medium negative. Through the use of technologically advanced sound systems, the incorporation of a partially closed roof and acoustically sensitive stadium design, and the management of noise levels during events, it is anticipated that the surrounding community will not be worse off than at present.
It was found that the visual impact of the stadium on the golf course site will be lower and affect fewer people directly than if placed on the existing stadium site.
The height of the stadium will not exceed 50 m above natural ground level, while the height of the podium will not exceed 9 m above natural ground level. The treatment of the façade, through the incorporation of a continuous outer skin, will enhance the aesthetics of the stadium.
The redevelopment of the Green Point Common into an urban park will have a positive visual impact on the surrounding area.
The construction of a new stadium will require a substantial improvement of pedestrian and cycle facilities in the vicinity of Green Point which is considered positive.
Through the provision of at least 2 000 permanent parking bays in the stadium precinct the parking situation at Green Point will improve. There will be up to 3 000 additional temporary parking bays on the Green Point Common for specific events.
The construction of the stadium will be an impetus for the upgrading of public transport in the vicinity such as the re-instatement of the planned Inner City Bus Distribution System. Private vehicle accessibility into the precinct will improve as well as internal circulation within the precinct.
One of the conditions of my planning decision is the establishment by the City of a special project team, which must include public transport and roads infrastructure specialists from the Province, to formulate a public transport and road infrastructure plan relating to the stadium and urban park. This plan must be included in the City's Integrated Transport Plan.
As regards the management of transport during events, my environmental Record of Decision requires a Generic Event Management Plan catering for the various event scenarios. This must be mindful of the surrounding community.
The City has confirmed that there is sufficient capacity to service the development.
The implementation of the Stadium and Urban Park Operating Agreement and Urban Park Operational Management Plan required by my environmental Record of Decision will result in a far better management dispensation for the Green Point Common (including the sporting codes) than that at present. The increased regional amenity value of the stadium and urban park will outweigh any negative impacts for any particular sporting codes. The quality of the recreational space will be enhanced.
The development will not set a precedent for future commercial development of the Green Point Common.
The creation of a stadium that is a multi-purpose venue for events and matches will also be enhanced by the development of a safe and accessible urban park on the Green Point Common.
The City of Cape Town proposed two sites for the placement of the stadium: the existing Green Point Stadium site and a site on the southern portion of the Metropolitan Golf Course. The proposed alternative sites and the 'No Go' option were considered during the scoping phase and comparatively assessed during the EIA phase. The 'No Go' option is the situation where no stadium is built at Green Point or anywhere else in Cape Town and consequently there would be no stadium in Cape Town for a semi-final match in the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament.
The 'No Go' option was not invoked because none of the adverse impacts of the proposed development was so significant that no stadium of this sort should be constructed on the Green Point Common. In addition, the benefits of the new stadium and urban park for the broader community Cape Town outweigh the negative environmental impacts on the local community in the surrounding areas.
The golf course site alternative is the preferred alternative because it will result in, amongst other things:
- an overall lower visual impact;
- a higher positive response to heritage indicators;
- a lower severance impact on the landscape with the built component being concentrated on the eastern edge of the Green Point Common;
- fewer sporting codes being directly impacted by the new stadium; and
- more space being available for the reorganisation of the existing sporting codes and additional open space for other recreational activities.
The public participation process was in line with the legal requirements and I am satisfied that due process was followed.
In reaching this positive decision I have considered and applied the national environmental management principles in section 2 of the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 and the requirements of the governing laws, namely the Environment Conservation Act 73 of 1989 and LUPO.
I firmly believe that the proposed development of a stadium and urban park on the Green Point Common is desirable and that my decision addresses the triple bottom-line of sustainable development which ensures environmental integrity, economic development and social justice.
The development will have positive impacts beyond the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament and will play a critical role in contributing to the economic growth and development of Cape Town and the Province. The creation of this world class multi-purpose facility and urban park also gives us an opportunity to build social cohesion and integration in our different communities. This must be our 2010 legacy.
We now have the opportunity to ensure that we are able to deliver a world class stadium and urban park and be the proud hosts of a successful semi-final and other FIFA events during World Cup 2010. Let's Do It!
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