The City of Cape Town’s policy on gated developments is likely to be adopted by the end of this year, after extensive public consultation and debate. A “gated” development refers to a physical area or development that is walled or fenced off from its surroundings and where general public access is monitored, controlled, restricted or prevented in any way – often by means of gates or booms.
“Gating can have adverse impacts and cause dysfunctional cities if left unregulated,” says Gideon Brand, a senior Town Planner in the Planning & Building Development Management department.”The City has therefore decided to introduce a policy to regulate this increasingly popular form of development, as it has a constitutional obligation to ensure an accessible and integrated city.”
According to Brand, the policy will neither prohibit nor encourage gated developments, but will simply provide guidelines to regulate them.“The purpose of the policy is to set land-use management guidelines for gated development, not to address safety and security problems experienced by communities,” notes Brand.
“Safety and security remains primarily an SAPS function.”“Although we acknowlege the potential safety benefits of gated developments, the phenomenon can’t be allowed in an uncontrolled fashion to compromise lawful public access, where other less restrictive security measures remain available to achieve the same goal.”According to Cllr Owen Kinahan, Chairperson of the Steering Committee dealing with the draft, the policy has been subjected to an extensive public consultation process.
“In addition to a public hearing on 26 July, all 23 subcouncils as well as residents' and rate payers' associations and other organisations on the City’s database have been consulted.”
Public and official input considered issues such as the reality of crime; the provision of public open spaces; the impact on City services and infrastructure; finanncial arrangements; the process and mechanism for closure and community support; visual impact; pedestrian access and movement; access monitoring and entrance notices; traffic calming issues; scale and location; and conventional and alternative security measures.“The City is determined that the final version must withstand legal challenge and provide consistency across the metro,” says Cllr Kinahan.
"The policy represents a difficult balancing act that protects the city’s functionality and form, doesn't impede access networks and recognises the constitutional rights of both freedom of movement and a safe and secure environment.
The City’s Planning and Environment Portfolio Committee will meet in November to formally adopt the policy.For more information, contact Gideon Brand, Planning & Building Development Management, 021 400 1802.