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Stop High Rise Development at Old Swimming Pool Swakopmund

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Dear Swakopmunders & Other Interested Parties
It is time to be alert and involved in the business of our town, beautiful Swakopmund! There is no doubt that deals and laws are being manoeuvred and ignored to serve the interests of developers and the few who will benefit financially from these dealings. Do not think that these dubious proposals will benefit the ordinary Swakopmunder who is being bullied and deceived - the initiatives are to benefit the rich and the greedy.

**Read the following objections carefully and consider your position.** We ask for transparency and honesty, from our Municipality and from government.
Laws are made to protect the public, and we should not allow these laws to be manipulated and disregarded, or hidden.

The C.E.O. - Swakopmund Municipality
P.O. Box 53

Re: Public Scoping of Proposed Development on Erf 4747, Swakopmund (Old Swimming Pool) and Swakopmund Town Planning Amendment Scheme No. 61

Dear Mr. Swarts,
We refer to the public scoping on Friday the 10th November 2017, regarding the proposed development of up to 40m high rise building on Erf 4747 (Old Swimming Pool). We also refer to the Town Planning Amendment Scheme No 61 whereby public participation was denied by Council.
The Swakopmund Residents Association therefore strongly objects against any such developments; and the Amendment Scheme No 61 for the following reasons:

A. Amendment Scheme No 61

1.  Your Council openly denied public participation on the proposed amendment of the height provisions contained in scheme No 12 in its Agenda at Council Meeting on Thursday 29 September 2016, although according to Article 18 of the Constitution of Namibia the public has a right thereto. The proposed amendment of height restrictions was then included into Amendment Scheme No 61 and submitted to NAMPAB for approval. However, according the Town Planning Ordinance 18 of 1954, as amended, Clause 17, this intention to amend the clauses of the scheme, should have been advertised and should “contain a concise statement of the effect of the resolution.” These statutory requirements were clearly omitted and the whole matter is therefore unlawful and unconstitutional.
2.  A town planning scheme is a legal framework whereby people develop and invest. As these amendments to the existing town planning scheme are so severe, public input is of utmost importance and any omissions thereof can only be interpreted as unethical or even with corrupt intentions.
3.  Swakopmund has a registered Conservation Area protected by the National Heritage Act of 2004. This was done to serve a certain purpose and any changes cannot be undertaken by disregarding any public input or the relevant statutory requirements.

B. Public Scoping of Proposed Development on Erf 4747, Swakopmund

1.  The public scoping of the proposed development on Erf 4747 cannot be regarded as a lawful entity, as the Amendment Scheme No 61 has not been gazetted yet.
2.  The advertisement of the so called public scoping was insufficient and most of the public were unaware of it. Should this not have been done in the same manner as Clause 17 of the Town Planning Ordinance, since no other advertisement took place?
3.  The building plans submitted were insufficient, as they only showed some elevations and the colour schemes do not fit into the surroundings.
4.  The proposed development will obstruct the light beams of the lighthouse and any such matters must be liaised with Messrs. NAMPORT, Namibia.
5.  According to the National Heritage Act of 2004, Article 54, an environmental impact assessment must be performed to “the extent to which the proposed area and height of the proposed development may be obtrusive in relation to the area and height of the protected place or listed building in the vicinity.” As the adjacent lighthouse is listed as “Grade A” protection, this proposed new development is totally out of context and can therefore not be allowed.
6.  In terms of the National Heritage Act of 2004, a separate environmental impact assessment must be undertaken for the proposed hotel development. This has not been done.

Yours truly,
Wilfried Groenewald
Councillor - Swakopmund Residents Association

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