In 2011 the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) promoted the concept of a Linear Park for Rosebank. This was intended to replace a number of public spaces in the area and lend to them a particular identity and amenity that, singly, they did not possess.
“Linear” means “going from one thing to another in a single series of stages”. “Single” means “only one”. Thus it was reasonable to conclude that the Linear Park prescribed for Rosebank would unify the random spaces linked by servitudes and give them a single identity.
Years later, after nearly an eight year gestation period, The CoJ has delivered a brief which delivers a monstrosity, deformed by essential parts of it missing. There is no explanation for this. Instead it concentrates on parts of the creature, as though by that device the missing parts will go by unnoticed.
The CoJ has commissioned Heritage Consultants to prepare a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) on the impact of the demolition of the present Rosebank Library and the Rosebank Clinic [a structure built more than sixty years ago and protected by Section 34 of the National Heritage Resources Act (NHRA)].
The existing library conformed to the standards of the time but the demographics of patrons and their needs have changed. Accordingly the structure is said to be outmoded.
* * *
* * *
- A Statement of Significance should reflect all aspects of cultural significance as defined in the NHRA. The qualities expected of the Library and Clinic should be included.
- The impact that the new building will have on the ambience of the Park should be comprehensively addressed.
- IAPs are asked to comment on a development that will affect a Linear Park Scheme, not yet defined, and incomplete;
- Clarity is required to establish the distribution of land as part of the Linear Park Development;
- The servitude over Erf 189 should be confronted in the HIA;
- The Library and Clinic should be located at ground level with easy access to the public;
- There must be an environmental study with regard to the impact of the underground parking on the parks;
- The gauging of public opinion is premature and the question is asked:
- What redress do IAPS have if an in-principle agreement is given to a specific proposal and a different option is later chosen?
- Under the circumstances what purpose does it serve to proceed with the present enquiry?
- It is vital that an HIA deal with the concept of Linear Park as a unified and holistic experience.