39 York Street Kensington
Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 06:47
Thread Categories: 
Whistle Blowing
General Tracking
Thread Location: 
Gauteng
Johannesburg
Kensington

Statement from Kensington Heritage: The property at 39 York Street, South Kensington was 'demolished' in early 2014 with no PHRAG permits. We assisted concerned residents with an objection and took it to PHRAG ourselves to have it stamped. An official told us she was too busy to help us but we finally managed to get it stamped and emailed the document to all stakeholders, the City Council and PHRAG.

A few weeks later a town planning notice was stuck to the gate and one of the neighbours informed us that the "owner" is getting it rezoned for 8 units. A year later an approved PHRAG permit was on the gate with the details of an independent heritage consultant. We had no correspondence or hearing on this matter from PHRAG.

A site meeting was arranged by the York street Chair with the Heritage consultant, owner and PHRAG. Nobody from Kensington Heritage, ILKA or the Councillor whose ward it is in was invited.

We are frustrated, concerned and have so many unanswered questions such as:

1. What is the point of having a heritage body like Kensington Heritage if objections are constantly overruled (this has happened a number of times with no communication from the PHRAG)?

2. Why is the law consistently ignored? (regardless of whether a site has significance or not processes aren't being followed and there is no enforcement)

3. How can the excuse 'the owner was misinformed' be continuosly used?

4. Surely it is time for genuine and comprehensive public participation on heritage matters in Kensington?

Any comments or advice would be welcome to get things working in our historic suburb.

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