People & News

Development rejected

The Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs (DAEA) has turned down an application for a luxury estate development in the Dargle valley. The proposal for development on the farm Hopedale consisted of 37 residential plots, a stable block, staff accommodation, a polo field and a club house. The DAEA listed some thirteen key reasons for its rejection of the proposal, the first of which being that the development of such a residential estate is "inconsistent with the rural agricultural landscape within which it is situated, and is likely to have significant detrimental impacts on the local social and economic environments".

Other reasons refer to the development as:

  • "being incompatible with the established uMgeni Municipality's Integrated Development Plan and Spatial Development Framework that zones the area for agricultural and eco-adventure tourism use, and has not identified the area as a development node";
  • "likely to have a significantly negative impact on the agricultural sector of the Dargle valley, through the potential inflation of local land values, which will have significant effects on the sustainability of agricultural production and economic viability within the surrounding agricultural landscape".
The DAEA also noted that there are other more appropriate locations in existing development nodes for upmarket housing estates. Generally the decision was welcomed by local groups.

Article on The Witness

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