Plan for housing estate at Noordhoek caravan park

Tree coverage along the western boundary of the caravan park.

A plan to turn a Noordhoek caravan park into a housing estate will threaten the area’s rural, equestrian charm, says a civic group.

The Chapman’s Peak Caravan Park could make way for 27 homes in a gated estate if the City approves an application to rezone and subdivide the property.

The public has until Wednesday September 8 to comment on the proposal.

According to the application by Headland Town Planners, the owner wants clearance for the future subdivision of the property, which would permit rezoning for ”single residential“ and ”utility“ uses.

The current “rural” zoning with caravan-park rights existed under a previous “special residential” zone, which is no longer in use by the City’s development management scheme.

If the application is approved, the property will have 29 homes, including two that are the owner’s current main properties.

Those two properties will have their own private access and will not be part of the gated estate of 27 homes with a clubhouse, a private road, utility site, and “private open spaces”.

“It is envisaged that the private open space will contain a clubhouse that will be reserved for use by the estate residents,” said Marian Nieuwoudt, mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment.

The application proposes single and double-storey buildings. It notes there are several exotic trees on the site, including a large English oak, estimated to be about 150 years old.

The intention is to retain as much of the vegetation cover as possible, particularly around the perimeter, says the application.

It further notes that the site is in a standard parking zone and the requirement for parking is two bays per dwelling, which translates to 58 bays. The clubhouse itself requires no parking, as it is for residents only although there will be space available for parking which can double up as visitor parking for the estate.

The caravan park’s ablution block and pool will be demolished.

Noordhoek Ratepayers Association (NRPA) chairman Brad Bing said they were opposed to the plan as it contradicted the “Noordhoek 2030” community vision of a rural, horse-friendly, nature-friendly, and “unplugged” place to live, work and visit.

Those characteristics, Mr Bing said, were not only nice-to-haves but also supported the equestrian economy, the tourism economy and natural assets, which drove business and jobs.

The Noordhoek equestrian economy, he said, generated some R45 million annually, which was mostly ploughed back into the Masiphumelele economy.

The caravan park lay within the equestrian zone where properties should be large enough (4 000m² or more) for keeping horses, he said.

“We are sad to see that the caravan park will be closed, as caravanning is quite popular nowadays and fits well with Noordhoek’s natural and unplugged style,” Mr Bing said.

However, should it be closed, the association would only support a subdivision into single-residential plots of at least 4 000m² each or leaving the current rural zoning.

Mr Bing said the developer argued that small plots should be allowed because the applicable single-residential zoning (SR1) permitted three dwellings so technically their gated community would have a lower overall density. However, looking around Noordhoek showed that to be nonsense, he said.

The NRPA said it had not had access to all the relevant documentation and it had asked the City to extend the comments submission deadline.

Sean Philip, marketing agent for the development through Robshaw Property, acknowledged the Echo’s enquiry, but no response was received at the time of going to print.

The English Oak tree, which is estimated to be 150 years old.