After many a heated debate about the “monstrous” Sibaya Coastal Precinct development behind Umdloti, residents have now taken a new approach with the Umdloti Beach Ratepayers and Residents Association (UBRRA).
With nearly 50 people attending the first UBRRA meeting last week, Umdloti resident and acting secretary of the association, Brian Gibson said he felt optimistic about the future.
“We have agreed to disagree on certain topics with Tongaat Hulett Developments (THD) and will try to work together going forward.
“If we join hands with them, we have a better chance of succeeding,” said Gibson, who is one of the eight committee members alongside Tracey Simkiss, Petros Scholtz, Pat Bean, Mark Smith, Joy Brasier, Don Smith and Wade Holland.
“It is clear Umdlotians want to stand together to ensure neighbouring developments are legally compliant and sensitive to our needs.”
In order to do so, UBRRA’s mandate will focus on the following topics:
Three committee members will be nominated to the Umdloti Forum (UF) – an umbrella body representing UBRRA and the Umdloti Urban Improvement Project (UIP) at the ongoing meetings with THD about the Sibaya Coastal Precinct.
Entering into a memorandum of agreement with THD based on a shared vision for the further development of the Sibaya Coastal Precinct to achieve the mutual interests of both parties, while reserving the right for UBRRA and or the UF to object to future developments that are not in the best interests of the village.
The UF’s objection to the Special Consent Application by THD for height increases to buildings in Node 1 at the M4 circle will remain in place while the municipality is making a decision. The UF continue to resist plans by THD and AdvTech to build a 10 000 student university on the narrow Umdloti Beach access road.
Negotiate strongly with THD and the relevant authorities to find innovative alternatives to improve the traffic flow in and around the Sibaya Coastal Precinct as the development is anticipated to increase traffic density by more than 30 percent.
Collaborate with Ethekwini municipality to address the water and sewage systems as well as improving on security measures and tackling the rebuilding of the lifeguard tower at the Umdloti tidal pool.
Umdloti councillor Geoff Pullan said while he is happy to see UBRRA revived again, he is concerned about where the Sibaya Coastal Precinct is going.
“It is all good and well we speak to THD, but my concern is that they sell off chunks of land by the book to investors who then feel they can do what they like.
“I hope we can work together to move forward in a way that benefits the locals and the developers,” said Pullan.