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Uncertainty over mosque project in Parklands

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A plot of land that is set to be used to erect a mosque in Parklands, Tableview has been issued with a “cease work” notice by the City of Cape Town. The developer of the project was served with the notice after residents in the community and the Parklands Homeowners Association contacted Nora Grose who is the local ward councillor.

“I received an inquiry from the Parklands Homeowners Association alerting me to a construction in process and after further investigation at the planning department as to whether any plans were approved, I was informed that plans were submitted but no approvals were granted yet,” said Grose.

According to Grose, based on the findings of the planning department, a “cease work” notice was issued on the 8th of August.

“The building inspector was asked to investigate any work being conducted after he received the “cease work” notice,” she said.

Grose took to Facebook to update her findings of the inquiry to which the post was received with mixed emotions. Residents raised concerns about a mosque being built in the area.

Many of the residents felt the development of another place of worship will be a challenge as they are already dealing with the noise of an existing church in the area.

Resident posted concerns that such developments often see an overspill of worshippers which extends over onto neighbour’s driveways and sidewalks-often home owners visitors have nowhere to park. The residents even expressed worry at the lack of consultation with neighbours about development in the area.

Reacting to the concerns of the community Grose, has indicated that the area forms part of the Parklands regional township establishment.

“Erf 5431 and 5432, both properties are part of the Parklands regional township development. These properties were sanctioned as business one zoning which permits the development of business, house dwellings, boarding houses, flats, place of instruction and place of worship,” she explained.

Citing concerns by residents about the public participation in the development of this land. Grose elaborates that public participating was needed for this zone.

“This approval took place in 2008 and no public participation is required in the event if the proposed development complies with existing zoning as per the development management scheme.”

When asked how Grose planned to deal with the disatisfaction of the residents in the area she acknowledged it was difficult, but the aim was to get together and discuss the challenges.

The City of Cape Town’s Priya Reddy has confirmed that the City had not received a building plan application for the mosque adding that in the event of a mosque being built there, no public participation would be needed as the site had business zoning, which allowed for a place of worship.

VOC is in the process of speaking to the owner of the property. VOC (Najma Bibi Noor Mahomed)

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