Sports Centre Maple Road

Sports Centre Maple Road

Sports complex proposed on Maple road next to Beaulieu College

Kyalami Area Community Plan Nov 2012 Application for Sports Centre Maple Road

The developer is appealing the City’s rejection of the application and called a public meeting with Residents from Kyalami, Glenferness and Beaulieu to find out if there is a need for this type of facility in the area.  Those attending the meeting were involved with the school or project, from surrounding properties, residents’ associations and GEKCO.  A vote was held with those present to gauge the support and need of the complex.  31 voted in favour with 18 voting against.  It should be noted that a number of those voting in favour are prospective tenants or expect to benefit from the project in some way and are not resident within the area.

As it stands, no residents are standing in the way of this development (there were no registered objectors), but the City of Joburg itself turned down the application, because it felt that the proposed sports complex would not meet the needs of the local community, but would rather attract many visitors from the outside.  Their words were that this is not the right place for such a complex as it would not benefit those who felt the most impact.  This type of large facility, described at the public meeting can bring in excess of 2,000 people a day (many from outside the area) for tournaments.  Only community supporting structures (such as a school or related facilities) are currently supported by the City.  It was suggested at the meeting to consider another site with adequate road and sewage infrastructure which is more accessible to those who can make use of the facility.

GEKCO and the RA’s have over the years worked hard to promote this area as a green lung for the city of Joburg to retain Agricultural holdings.  In 2012, the attached community plan was workshopped and supported by GEKCO and the (then) committees of Residents’ associations in Sun Valley, Bealieu, Glenferness and KEROA which reinforces the desire to remain outside the Urban Development Boundary.  The City has not approved this commercial sports complex as it is not supported outside the Urban Boundary and not viewed as a community supporting structure.  GEKCO feels that to ask the City to overturn their ruling is contrary to our previous discussions and requests.

Please see below views of the residents near the complex who would be most affected:

“I have read the application and should I have been aware of it before I would most certainly have raised several objections to what is being proposed. In addition it is suspiciously vague in detail.

When the application for the College was lodged we objected to certain aspects and were given assurances that they would be attended to. These have been ignored by Beaulieu College once they got their approval.

Of particular concern was the treatment of the sewage that would be generated. This was covered by their claim that it would be handled by means of conservancy tanks that would be pumped our regularly. The history of this arrangement, which was contained in the terms and condition of approval, is that initially this was done. However with the increase in the number of pupils and the subsequent additional activities that have taken place on the property it became too costly to continue with this practice. An attempt was then made to treat the effluent on the property with disastrous results. The plant was poorly constructed and was totally ineffective. Several trees along Rena Road were affected and have died as a result of this mess.

As part of the solution two holding dams were created at the corner of Rena and Oak Road which quickly turned into cesspools and continues to overflow into and down Rena Road. This has been reported to Water Affairs on several occasions. These dams still exist and they are a health hazard besides the environmental impact that it continues to have with the ongoing spills and being regularly flushed out onto Rena Road particularly during the rainy period.

Of major concern with this new application is the disposal of sewage. History is not on the side of the Applicant. In addition this facility is more slanted to a commercial enterprise rather than an extension to the educational requirements of the College. It will follow the pattern of the floodlit Hockey Field currently subcontracted out to the Hockey Academy. This generates huge volumes of traffic from outside our area and is used on a daily and nightly basis not by the College but as a cash generator. This is detrimental not only to the immediate neighbours who have to endure noise from the parties they hold on the facility but also the disturbance from their lighting arrangements they have in place.

An escalation of the level of disruption to our area currently being generated under the guise of Beaulieu College is totally unacceptable. This high level of commercialisation in a Rural Area designated under the HALFWAY HOUSE AND CLAYVILL TOWN PLANNING SCHEME (1976)  (THE SCHEME) as Residential and Agricultural is incompatible and not in keeping with the surrounding area.

There are several other objections to this application which can be raised at a later date if this applicant persists in trying to persuade Council to reverse their decision. Besides we must support Council and not try to get them to change their decisions which have been made on Planning guidelines for our area.”

“1)      The Kyalami area is already a very sport-orientated area, with many of the sports being outdoors / country sports – horse riding, mountain biking, cycling, trail running. Visitors come specifically to this area to be able to practice these sports, as facilities for such sports are very limited in the greater Johannesburg metropolitan area. An influx of individuals into this area to make use of the new proposed sports facility may detract from the ability of the area to continue offering facilities for the current outdoors/country sports enthusiasts. Therefore, the proposed sports facility may be developed partially at the expense of the exiting sports facilities, which are at present unique in the northern areas of the Johannesburg metro.

  1. There are already a number of other facilities within a 15km radius similar to the new facility proposed by Beaulieu College, which can be used by indoor sports enthusiasts.
  2. The current outdoors/country sports practiced are in line with the general “sense of place” and lifestyle of the area. The proposed new sports facilities at Beaulieu College are not necessarily in line with that.

2)      The current sports facilities at Beaulieu College present certain “infringements” on the residents in the area already. These include:

  1. Light pollution from the hockey field lights. (This matter was raised with Beaulieu College in the past, but the College authorities were not willing to resolve this concern.)
  2. Noise pollution from late evening hockey training / games and regular dances/discos/parties organised by the school (to which SAPS often responds due to complaints by the residents).
  3. Increased traffic (often during peak afternoon hours).
  4. Drinking at public facilities by youth (possibly under-aged) during hockey games and driving intoxicated afterwards. (In the past, the local Sector Policing Forum / CPF) had intercept inebriated youth in vehicles on Maple Road, leaving Beaulieu College after hockey games.)

The construction of additional sports facilities is likely to compound the existing problems. How does Beaulieu College propose to resolve the above?

3)      Infrastructure – The current services infrastructure in the area is not designed to support the proposed sports facility (this includes municipal sewage, power supply/access and road infrastructure). How exactly does Beaulieu College propose to address the shortage of service provision infrastructure without disrupting the current “sense of place” and lifestyle of the area?

4)      To date, the hockey field at Beaulieu College appears to have been operating purely as a commercial venture (on a concession to a private company), without the community as such making use of this facility. What is the guarantee from Beaulieu College that the proposed sports facility will be made available to the community (and on what terms and conditions) rather than being turned into another private venture, solely for the financial benefit of the investor?

  1. Currently, the Beaulieu College property is zoned for educational purposes. With the hockey field being under concession to the Hockey Academy, does this not constitute commercial business operations, which are not allowed under the current zoning?

5)      The developer may consider developing the proposed sports facility in a different area which may be more suitable for such a facility. For instance, the Kyalami Race Track which apparently has empty land available, can provide the required services, and has far better road infrastructure access than Beaulieu College. It is also more centrally located in the Kyalami area.

6)      Construction is already taking place on Beaulieu College premises, with earth works having begun. Is this construction related to the proposed sports facilities?  If yes, is this construction not premature in light of the Johannesburg City Council’s decision not to approve the proposed development?”