HWC guidelines & Comments

Further comments on HWC Draft Guidelines :Great Brak River,Newlands Residents Association. HASA, Bungalow Owners Association.

GOOD Morning ,

See the submission  from the Heritage Association of South Africa.

Is it not time that we all cooperated and worked together? A point in question is the notice given  to comment. ?

In section 27 the notice period prescribed to comment on grade 2 site adjustments is 60 days

Could we not all request to HWC that comments of this nature require  a reasonable notice  period

The regulations published on  24 September do not set a time ?

Len Raymond HASA

Hi Penny,
Apologies for the delay in replying but I had already written to Jenna of my concerns on the various issues.

To summarise:
Looking through the new document, I found that there are still some built items that may fall between the cracks.

1)    If a built item still has the original foundation and the foundation is older than 60 years, does the property then remain “Ungraded” (with the possibility of being graded at a later stage) or should it be “Insufficient Heritage Significance” which would imply that it would never be graded in the future?

The main reason behind this is that many (possibly important) properties may fall off the map so to speak and then apply to the municipality bypassing HWC for any alteration work and in the process destroy any heritage potential.
2)    Then what happens when an important historic building is demolished because it has fallen into disuse? Can one insist that a recognition plaque be installed when a new building replaces it? Can we obtain money from the Monuments council?

3)    I readily acknowledge that not all built areas can be saved and that Andrew Hall (previous director HWC) had misgivings about ‘isolated’ Grade IIIC properties. However, these Grade IIIC properties are very very important to our heritage

4)    – A heritage resource cannot be included on the Heritage Register without proof of consultation with the landowner ?    NOT ACCEPTABLE

Whilst this is only fair on properties recently within the 60 year period, it was previously intonated that any property over sixty years old is automatically heritage.

Then this is often difficult? …………. Perhaps the property has changed hands? …………….What about holiday homes where the owner is not present? This was never requested in the past and who keeps any documentation or clearance certificate to say that it is no longer heritage?

If the property is just over 60 years then this is fairly easy (but who pays for any costs) however, any property that was graded by the appropriate authority well into the past, why should this still be necessary?

For the record both Great Brak River and Mossel Bay were surveyed initially in 2003 and it was well done.

The new template in use has some additional requirements but the basic details have not changed.

5)    – PHRA selects resources from inventories for placement on Heritage Register

Who are the PHRA? And how do they go about selecting heritage resources and which register?

6)    – In terms of section 30(5), at the time of amending or compiling a town planning scheme or spatial development framework (SDF) a local authority must compile an inventory of heritage resources. This inventory must then be assessed by the relevant PHRA.

Does this now mean that for Instance Mossel Bay Municipality must compile a new inventory of heritage resources? Or must they still accept those in existence as was Andrew Hall’s requirements? Mossel Bay Municipality has yet to become an acceptable heritage authority?

7)    When is the SAHRIS register going to replace the present templates? How does it affect the previous templates? Whilst this may be difficult, some sort of time scale would be appropriate. The SAHRIS register has yet to be tested.
There are a good number of additions but some will be very difficult to implement. We need some sort of time scales and periods or when one system supersedes another. There are also going to be major differences between municipalities and heritage practitioners. And what about the costs? who is responsible?

Whatever, I like what has been done, ie the approach (because it requires clarity) but not all the decisions.

I am sure if I reread, other queries will arise.
Regards
René de Kock
083-448-1966
Great Brak River

On 2015/10/18 03:17 PM, Penny Stekhoven wrote:

Dear All

Geraldine Goncalves, in charge of heritage for the Newlands Residents Association, forwarded your name to me because you are involved with the preservation of the area in which you live and you may be interested in commenting on the Heritage Western Cape Draft Guidelines.

From the attachment “Draft Guidelines for comment” you will see that we have forwarded a comment from our organization.  This was at the request of David Hart, Principal Professional: Environmental Resource Management Department of the City of Cape Town in the hope that Heritage Western Cape will stop giving their approval to the demolition of Grade 3c dwellings. Sadly the approval is given even when the Newlands Residents Association, on behalf of the villagers, says “No” to the demolition.  And once Heritage Western Cape approves the demolition the City council are not able to over-ride their decision.

Unfortunately we were only recently sent the Draft Guidelines and the final date for comments is the 23rd October. Despite the short notice it would be greatly appreciated if your organization could see their way clear to commenting in line with our recommendations by this date.  Attached you will find all the appropriate background documentation as well as the Appeal Ruling 24 Davenport Road erf 1444 Vredehoek which is mentioned in our letter to Heritage Western Cape.

Good luck with your preservation attempts.

Kind regards

Penny Stekhoven

For and behalf of

M Stekhoven

Convenor, Newlands Village Preservation Group

5 Ohlsson Way

Newlands 7700

Cape

Tel: 021 674 0591

Mobile: 083 675 5030

Email: pstekhoven@wol.co.za

Dear SIR,

The general policy set out for comment  by 23/10/15 refers. We note that HWC  has noted on its website that it will be closed on the 23/10/15 so we will have to submit this by e mail.

This matter was discussed at the Annual symposium council meeting of the Heritage Association of South Africa on the 17 October where I was instructed to comment according to the discussions

1)      We commented at an early stage   (see below ) . The response we received  failed to deal with the issues raised nor did it offer any more than a referral to the draft issued.

2)      HASA believes that the statement on monuments confuses the issues by including monuments that are situated in  an otherwise protect environment. In which

case any  proposal  must   first satisfy the requirements of the graded site within which it stands.

3)      In essence any monument that satisfies the definition in the act  does not have to satisfy any grading criteria as it must be considered as complying with section 3(3)  and is not subject to grading. The monument is protected by definition, placed upon the provincial register and  must be managed by the provincial authority only if it does not fall within the ambit of section  9 { 9(3) and 9(5)}

4)      Any monument that falls within the ambit of section 9  cannot be dealt with by the provincial authority unless the matter is specifically delegated to it by SAHRA.

5)      The definition of monuments  on  public land (a province is defined as the state) seems to indicate that few monuments falls under the province unless they  are part of a graded site or the PHRA specifically proclaims them as such for additional reasons other than the definition in the act.

6)      It is our interpretation of the act that  the management of  monuments need only  satisfy the requirements of section 5  and 6.  But that section 3(3) places upon the decision making body an additional responsibility  to consider and protect minority interests and heroes/ figures  in their times and not with respect to current  values.

7)      HASA brings to the attention the various  general meetings in respect of the white paper  and statues held in the Western Cape ( BY DECAS, SHARA and the Western Cape government)  when the opinion expressed was strongly in favour of the retention of the current status quo In respect of monuments as well as the provisions of the current act. We thus question the motivation for the proposed statement.

8)       In view of the responsibility of the province to follow the act  and or  where SAHA leads

It is our opinion that the guidelines are not in accordance with the act  , do not follow  on a SAHRA’s policy statement and  as by  definition  public land (in the majority of cases) belonging to state or state supported  bodies or enterprises that the policy statement be withdrawn and the provisions of the act followed .

9)      In essence HWC is attempting to make policy  that differs to the provisions of the actand this must be carefully assessed as we asked in our original comment.

We trust that this policy statement will be withdrawn

For the Heritage Association of South Africa

Raymond (chair)

Dear Dr. Myburg

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the draft Implementation of Heritage Management at Local Authority Level.

Unfortunately we have not had sufficient time to fully apply our minds to the draft as we are all volunteers and have to fit in the business of the Bungalow Owners Association in our spare time.  More time would be appreciated in future.

So as to better understand the intended application of the grading and management we applied the grading and management to our own area of responsibility – the Bungalow Heritage area of Clifton, Glen Beach and Bakoven.   Some comments:

  • How will those proclaimed heritage sites be graded which, possible through ineffectual management, have been allowed to be degraded possibly to a point of marginal heritage value?  Given that restoration and rehabilitation can be done-  will the area retain its status?  Will resources be allocated and the area afforded the protection denied it in the recent past.    We support the concept of retrospective grading.
  • Grey areas could cloud the grading process –  for example how would ‘character’ be defined and enforced?  This encompasses the built environment, public spaces, natural areas, amenities and so forth. Currently we are on the back foot when the services of clever consultants and lawyers are employed to find loopholes to exploit the regulations.  We need a list of indicators, probably illustrated, to clearly define what constitutes ‘character’ within the context of the heritage site.
  • Enforcement, “appropriate level of management” are key issues which are woefully inadequate at the present moment and the document does not seem to address this.  Currently restrictions embedded in Title Deeds are easily overcome and the authorities  show little interest in supporting the objections and comments made by those intimately conversant with the Heritage Resource – such as the Bungalow Owners Association.   What authority is invested in HWC to override commercial pressure and monetary resources that go hand in hand with ‘development’?

These are the issue of concern:  definition of intrinsic characteristics, management strategy, enforcement and the willingness of authorities to place sufficient value on Heritage.

We have been copied in on correspondence calling for a workshop and we support this request.

Kind regards

Paddy Walker

Chair – BOA

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