Since 1999 there has been a consistent view on the possible future land uses for this part of Erf 595, which has been documented in various municipal planning reports.
The spatial development framework (SDF) is a fundamental part of longer term planning. It encourages consideration of potential spatial developments, and gives opportunities for open discussion between the community and the municipality.
The Greyton Commonage Spatial Framework Plan was compiled during 1999-2000 and contains broad guidelines and conservation/development proposals for the future use of the Commonage. The document shows that a broad public participation process was followed.
The following general goals were identified:
- Conserve the natural resource base and its bio-diversity;
- Protect and enhance Greyton’s rural/country character;
- Consider agricultural small holdings in area 6;
- Promote sustainable economic development, especially tourism.
Policies and strategies for planning areas 4 and 5:
- Assess opportunities for low intensity recreational use;
- Ensure that the community have continued access for recreational purposes;
- Rezone to Open Space III (LUPO), where the only use is Nature Reserve, as buffer zones;
- No agriculture, except harvesting of natural resources;
- No mining, quarrying, waste disposal facilities, public infrastructure;
- No subdivision or alienation of land.
Policies and management guidelines for planning area 6:
- Low intensity land uses only – agriculture, recreation and tourism;
- Structures/buildings to conform strictly with architectural and aesthetic guidelines;
- Flood line investigation necessary;
- Detailed agricultural investigation before any development permitted.
Policy was restated that no portion of publically owned agricultural land should be sold, or leased for more than 10 years (renewable). Two relevant Integrated Development Plan (IDP) projects were identified for investigation:
- The desirability of combining small scale farming activities in Greyton and Genadendal;
- The introduction of farming activities in the Commonage.
The Commonage Program that is controlled by the Dept of Land Affairs is responsible for assisting municipalities to develop conditions that enable poor residents to access existing Commonage. Clearly TWKM, in proposing to sell off a significant part of our Commonage having no plan to manage it or to consult the community in regard to appropriate and sustainable land uses and activities. There are grants available and training to assist small-scale farmers.
The policies and guidelines above were confirmed in the SDF (2012). It was also proposed that the areas (dark green on the map) be formally incorporated into the Greyton Nature Reserve in order to protect the ecological role of the Commonage within the context of the mountain catchment area, the river eco-systems and the Nature Reserve.
Agriculture was considered a potential land use for the proposed project in 1999-2000, subject to confirmation of adequate soil quality. During the last 15 years, fruit farming has expanded significantly, not least in the Sonderend river valley. The northern adjacent property is part of Zand Vlakte (Farm 136) an intensive dairy farm that has been totally transformed to grassland and crops.
We consider there is strong support for a mix of land uses in this area of the Commonage that would bring significant benefits to the communities of Ward 2 whilst also meeting the requirements of government policy and the expectations of Greyton residents.
We will keep you informed.
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Ward 2 Forum Team