The Silverglade residents who closed off a greenbelt last year with an illegal wall, citing security fears, have agreed to make it compliant with City regulations.
Residents and City officials discussed the issue at a meeting on Thursday January 24.
The precast-concrete wall topped with barbed wire and a locked gate sprung up between 1 The Glade and 58 Riverside Road, angering some residents.
Twenty residents signed a petition to have it removed, saying it wasn’t approved by the City and did not meet its fencing rules of being at least 40% see-through.
They also said the wall was unsightly and complained that residents had to pay R25 for a key to open the gate to a public greenbelt (“Silverglade wall of trouble”, Echo, November 15, 2018).
City building inspector Quinton Carelse confirmed the wall had gone up without City approval.
In order for the wall to stay plans for it would need to be submitted and it had to blend with its surroundings, he said. A timber palisade combined with Vibracrete would be acceptable, he said.
The wall should be permeable and not higher than 2.4m. And the barbed wire had to go.
“By controlling access to an environment one must take into consideration how it affects the greater community,” Mr Carelse said.
Friends of the Silverglade Greenbelt manager, Andre Blom, who was the drive behind the wall agreed to help the City look after the greenbelt.
The group would not use the City’s name or emblem on the wall without its consent and would indemnify the City against injuries, damages or loss incurred by any person due to the wall until it was approved by the City.
Mr Blom said he believed a wooden wall on the west side of Silverglade, running between 8 and 10 The Glen blocking another green belt, and the closure between Genoa Avenue and Upper Recreation Road had already set a precedent that closures of open spaces in the area were acceptable. He also claimed to have discussed plans for the wall with councillors.
Silverglade resident, George Martin supported the wall and said when he moved to Silverglade 25 years ago the area was beautiful and safe. There were no walls with barbed wire, he said, but much had changed since.
“The greenbelt is a dangerous place and except for all the break-ins to houses that border the greenbelt, people have been mugged and attacked there. I say all the greenbelts should be closed,” he
However, other residents feared that once one greenbelt had been closed other public spaces would follow.
Mr Blom asked all Silverglade residents to phone 082 622 8180 or email firstname.lastname@example.org so he could get their contact details.