Noise, fumes bug Muizenberg block

A large delivery truck in Sidmouth Road blocking the driveway to Clarendon Court.

Smoke, fumes and noise from restaurants at Surfer’s Corner in Muizenberg have some residents at a nearby block of flats hot under the collar.

Clarendon Court is one of the last remaining older buildings in the area according to resident Kevin Rack who says noise in the area has long been a problem due to a “truck-sized” generator opposite the block that is used during load shedding, sometimes at 2am.

Mr Rack said the opening of the new Santa Monica Spur was adding to noise pollution as staff shouted and dragged boxes and wheelie bins on the cobblestones every night at closing, and he could hear them clearly in his flat about 10 metres away.

Residents were also subjected to “toxic” fumes from the extractor fan of the wood-burning pizza oven at Tiger’s Milk, and large trucks also used Sidmouth Road, a one-way access road to Clarendon Court, as a loading and delivery zone, often blocking the building’s driveway.

“The stove grills and burners of one of the restaurants are cleaned between 9am and 10am every day with chemicals, which are so strong it causes chest pains,” Mr Rack said.

Noise from grinders, jackhammers and drilling had tormented residents seven days a week up to 14 hours a day during the renovation to make way for the Spur, and large construction vehicles had parked on Sidmouth Road, blocking traffic and causing congestion, he said, adding that he had not wanted to complain at the time as he realised the renovations would be temporary and the new restaurant would create jobs.

Mr Rack sent a video to the City showing “white gas or smoke” coming out of a rooftop extractor that blows directly into his flat.

Steve Frankel, trustee of the Muizenberg Retail Trust, the landlord of the Tiger’s Milk/Spur building, said Spur had acknowledged the problem and was taking steps to improve the situation.

Muizenberg Retail Trust and Muizenberg Village Developers owned three of Clarendon Court’s seven flats, and it was in their best interest to keep their tenants happy, he said.

Chris Alers, operations manager of the Santa Monica Spur, said they had taken steps to reduce the noise.

While the generator and the pizza-oven extractor fan did not belong to the Spur, the company had asked engineers and the City to suggest modifications to reduce smells, he said.

The Spur’s back-door exit would now be locked from 9pm and staff would leave through the front at closing to limit noise.

“Staff access to the alley for rubbish or stock movement is allowed only through this exit after 9pm under management supervision,” he said.

Sidmouth Road had been a delivery area for several restaurants for a number of years, he said.

“Following a meeting with a traffic inspector and local residents, on Saturday April 9, Spur agreed that large delivery trucks will be allowed to park in allocated bus spaces in the main parking area and only smaller trucks that will not block access will be allowed in Sidmouth Road for a limited time to offload stock.”

Lydia Chibinya, of Life and Brand, of which Tiger’s Milk is a franchise, said they had consulted with engineers and had submitted amended drawings and an application to the City to relocate the chimney flue.

Mayoral committee member for urban mobility Rob Quintas said the City would explore the feasibility of loading bays for small delivery vehicles on Beach Road as it was illegal to block an access road or access to a block of flats.

Red “no stopping” lines on Sidmouth Road were not ideal in an urban area where momentary stopping was needed, and yellow “no parking” lines would be more appropriate there, he said.

Mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment Eddie Andrews said the City’s development management department would consult with the health department on a building plan application for proposed additions and alterations to the Santa Monica Spur.

Mayoral committee member for community services and health Patricia van der Ross said officials had carried out at inspection and a pre-compliance notice had been issued to the owners of Tigers Milk for the pizza oven smoke nuisance.

Mr Rack said there had been a reduction in noise from the Spur in the past week.

The Santa Monica Spur in Muizenberg.