Block of flats not welcome

George Road as you drive from the village in the direction of the Wilderness Hotel. Photo: Google Maps.

GEORGE NEWS - The George Municipality has approved an application to develop a block of flats on erf 246 in George Road, Wilderness - opposite the Wilderness Hotel on the sea facing side.
When the application was lodged last year, concern was raised by residents that milkwood trees would have to make way for the new building. The initial plans included a business component, which was not approved. Building line relaxations applied for will also not be allowed, but an increase in the maximum allowable coverage from 25% to 45% got the green light.
There is currently a single house on the property that will be demolished. Conditions for the approval include that the site development plan should indicate the position of the existing trees, and that the applicant should comply with the National Forests Act.
Charles Scott from the Wilderness and Lakes Environmental Action Forum (Waleaf) raised concern over the coverage increase. "If the developer does not cut off some trees, he will not be able to achieve 45% coverage, so Wilderness will be losing precious milkwoods once again."
The developer, Mark Rubin, said that he has accepted the municipality's decision. "We have made a huge compromise. The development is much smaller than originally planned. Only one tree will have to be moved. I also live in Wilderness and I understand people's concern."
The appeal period closes next Friday 24 February.
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