Q&A with Abland, developers of Sandton Gate

  • What is the opinion of developers on building proximity to the Spruit - the plan seems to have the building right up to the Spruit?  We understand there are restrictions on building so close to the Spuit, how have these been resolved? In this specific scenario all of our proposed building footprints are outside of the 100 year flood line. This avoids us triggering any special requirements/authorisations form an environmental point of view. We have done an independent study on the river to determine the flood lines and these flood lines are certified by an independent engineer. However the pedestrian access bridge and bank stabilisation which we wish to do is considered as work within the flood line and in order to do this work we will require a Water Use License. This license we are currently applying for.
  • What is the nature of the access across the river from Iona road – pedestrian access only, secured ?  It is envisaged to be a pedestrian access only. The thought behind this is to have the Spruit users be able to access the amenities that the Sandton Gate precinct will have to offer.
  • What is the timing of development and its various phases? At this point in time there are approximately 7 commercial phases and 3 to 4 residential phases. The rollout of the phases is very much dependant on market conditions. As the space we have built is taken up it will trigger the start of the next phase. This could take anywhere between 6 to 10 years from now.
  • Has an environmental impact study been conducted? If so, what conditions have been imposed to ensure that there is no negative impact on the environments from development activities? You only need to perform EIA if any of any of your development activities triggers the requirement for an EIA. None of the developments of Sandton Gate trigger the requirement for an EIA other than the pedestrian bridge over the river and the planned bank stabilisation gabions. These 2 activities as previously mentioned are occurring within the 100 year flood line and therefore we need to do an Environmental Basic Assessment and Water Use License Application. We are currently busy compiling these applications. The building themselves do not require any form of EIA.
  • Are developers aware that they may not change the course of the river with retaining walls and structures without legitimate permission from the authorities? Yes we are aware. We are busy with the applications & studies to the relative authorities.
  • Are there any plans to change the water course and if so what are they? No we will not be altering the water course. We are purely stabilising the existing banks to prevent further erosion and are planning to beautify this area of the river with indigenous landscaping and litter clearing.
  • Concerns have been expressed about potential dumping. Developers are requested not to  dump their excess soil on the Spruit or river area which they do not use as back fill. In other words, the level of the surrounding land must not be raised. We are certainly not going to be dumping any soil on the Spruit. That will be an eyesore to our own prestigious development and is not legal. We will however during construction stock pile on our land portions of soil that we will require for back filling. Excess soil will be spoiled off site in legal dumps etc
  • Will developers arrange for regular removal of rubble? The example of Sutherland Ave, the service road parallel with  William Nicol between Sandton Drive and Stirling is a very poor example of developers using green spaces for dumping.  I must just make a point that developers are not contractors. Contractors are the usually the responsible parties for illegal dumping. It is usually unsophisticated contractors that do this illegally. We only operate with best contactors out there because of the size & nature of our developments. On this project Tiber Construction who are very well renowned will be performing the majority of the contracting work. They will be carting excess rubble off site weekly to legal dumps.
  • How will construction workers be accommodated/ transported?  We have seen that many residents of the Spruit are in fact construction workers working in Sandton who don’t wish to pay to travel home each night.  Residents have expressed concern that this practice may be exacerbated as a result of the development. Tiber Construction manage their construction employees very well and do provide there staff with the majority of their transport. We as developers, who are aiming to create this top class precinct, will also not allow the loitering of any people around the development as a good image for the development is very important. We are already putting efforts in to clear the Spruit and vagrants in the area which will become easier as soon as we have more resources on site.

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