After three years of lobbying, the Green Point Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (GPRRA) has finally convinced Heritage Western Cape to acknowledge that the Green Point Common is worthy of being declared a provincial heritage site.
About Green Point Common
The Green Point Common is a large area that includes the newly designed Green Point Urban Park, the Cape Town Stadium precinct and the surrounding sports fields. In 1923, the Common was granted to the people of Cape Town as a public open space for sporting activities, gatherings, parades and recreation. It is a popular place for locals to enjoy family walks and, runs, to meet other locals, to relax and walk dogs.
In 2015, both the GPRRA and the City of Cape Town (CoCT) felt that the Common was worthy of heritage status and, after an initial meeting with Heritage Western Cape (HWC), it was proposed that the CoCT and the GPRRA jointly put together the nomination for the Common. GPRRA and City Heritage jointly submitted a proposal to HWC in 2016 resulting in heritage officials developing a supplementary report and acknowledging that the Common must be protected and conserved. In mid 2017 GPRRA urged all Capetonians to let their voices be heard by supporting the nomination. In March 2018 the GPRRA celebrated approval by HWC and a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) will be prepared to be approved by HWC.
A Brief History of GPRRA
Under the threat of a seven-storey block of flats on the slopes of Signal Hill, residents Ian and Jenny McQueen realised the importance of their protective Title Deed Conditions. They galvanised the community into collective action to use those conditions to prevent this development. The experience made the community grasp the importance of standing together and in the 1990s the Braemar Civic Association was formed by Ian and Jenny together with James Loock. This small collective then evolved into the GPRRA in 2007. Jenny McQueen became chairperson in 2015.
The GPRRA have groups within the association:
Monitors municipal policies and affairs to evaluate them according to the highest principles of good local governance and influence the City to adopt policies, frame regulations and make decisions acceptable to members.
Built Environment Committee
Ensures minimum destruction of the area’s built heritage and maximum public open space, greening, off-street parking and people-friendly streetscapes. The built heritage and characteristic environment can never be replaced once it has been destroyed.
Maintains a sustainable balance between events held on the Common and the effects of noise, pollution and traffic which encroaches on the lives of residents.
Human Environment Committee
‘speaks’ to residents to buy into the management of the neighbourhood by recycling and managing bins, keeping streets and lanes clean and shares recommendations by field workers as to how to deal with the homeless.
Some Projects by the Association:
GPRRA has managed to maintain the single-dwelling, gardened status of the Braemar Estate.They have negotiated controlled dual-dwelling compromises with compensation height- and building- envelope restrictions and they have even taken the Provincial Premier to Court and won, in order to stop another block of flats. They played a role in the planning the layout of the Stadium and Urban Park. The GPRRA BEC (Built Environment Committee) persuaded the City that the under-utilised paved area adjoining the Stadium would be less hazardous, provide better parking, and be less unsightly for the Green Point Common and indeed the city.
The GPRRA will be hosting their annual general meeting (AGM) on Wednesday 16 May 2018 from 6pm for 6.30pm at the Hellenic Community Centre, 24 Bay Road, Mouille Point.
Membership is open to all Green Point residents over the age of 18 and it is only R150 per household per year. Go to http://www.gprra.co.za/membership.html.
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