Uncertainty

Jody du Plessis, chairperson of The Westridge Residents’ Association

Finally a response from Gerd Weideman, after countless emails and correspondence to him from the Ratepayers’ Association (“The Westridge architect tells his side”, Plainsman, March 2).

He does not respond to us but he responds to the newspaper when his development is at risk.

Mr Weideman’s response, however, raises more questions and we would like to correct him on a few points. He said the church and mosque sites have always been part of the general layout, approved by council and zoned.

Our response is that the original layout for the development of The Westridge did not include a church or mosque but did present the option for an unspecified community facility on open land.

To clarify, the only approved sites on the original layout were the crèche, park and shop.

The idea of a mosque or church was presented to the few residents who bought homes at the time, in the form of a door-to-door survey asking what people thought of these being built in the area. Many rejected the idea at that time.

Why is the architect and not the developer involved in dealings with the mosque and church? Why is his name on the wall signage of the mosque and not that of the developers which is Cross Atlantic Properties 179 Pty. Ltd?

Upon our investiga-tion it seems that the director of Cross Atlantic Properties has resigned. The former ratepayers’ association, which was called New Heights 473, is in the process of deregistering.

What is going on?

Mr Weideman also said the sign was never taken away, but was stolen. But we believe the entrance signs to The Westridge complex were never stolen. Residents can vouch for this as they physically saw the signs that were bolted against brick walls (metal signage stating “The Westridge”) being removed by the representatives of the church and mosque when they put up their own signage.

According to Mr Weideman the boundary wall around The Westridge is owned by everyone inside the complex. We say, this cannot be. As long as the properties are not sold, the land legally belongs to the developer/owner. And because of this they are still responsible for the upkeep thereof and the accompanying fencing.

Residents are responsible only for the fencing surrounding their own properties. It is ludicrous to suggest anything else.

We’d like to remind Mr Weideman and whoever the developer may be of the new area – The Westridge Gold, as it is advertised – that residents remain at risk as long as the gaping holes remain in place where fencing should be. Prior to the theft of the fencing, we could report one or two incidents in the past seven years up until the middle of last year.

Since then and we believe this number has increased to at least 21 crimes committed against residents in the space of eight months, ranging from house-breaking to carjacking and robberies.

We maintain that as long as the erven or open space remain unsold, they remain the property of the developer. If this is not the case then why did the developer fix and repair stolen and broken fencing before, on two separate occasions?

The fencing in the new development area of The Westridge Gold belongs to the developer and should be maintained by them no matter how many times it gets stolen. Why does Mr Weideman deflect responsibility? Who exactly is this developer (Cross Atlantic 179 Pty. Ltd.) because this community has been directed from pillar to post? The architect says it’s the developer’s responsibility but the only contact we have with the developer is via Mr Weideman.

Correspondence to the developer has to be sent to Mr Weideman’s assistant to be forwarded to the developer. This is very confusing to us. What are the names of the individuals that own the development (Cross Atlantic Pty Ltd)? Why can they not be named?

The builders are also another issue. We are informed that they are G-Col Developers. But who owns this company? The ratepayers’ association was given one contact person’s details but again Mr Weideman responded to one of our emails using a G-Col Developers email address.

Mr Weideman said they are only involved in designing the 158 erven and have nothing to do with any parks. We argue, however, that we were promised controlled access points and a proper play park and that is why we bought property here. That is the promise on paper that was sold to us initially. We still want this promise to be fulfilled.

We have done our own enquiries with the City of Cape Town and the council cannot do anything at this point because the area has not been handed over to the City and is still the responsibility of the developer.

Mr Weideman directs us to Riaan Pietersen who was the then developer (Beyond Group). Why then is the City directing us back to the developer, saying there has not been a handover of the area?

This tells us that the current developer is in charge of the entire area and not just the new development (The Westridge Gold) as stated by Mr Weideman.

Mr Weideman said the residents’ association has mistakenly assumed that the new developers are the old developers.

This must be the most flagrant lie yet from Mr Weideman.

We maintain as our final and most important point that, Gerd Weideman Architects was the original architect that developed the existing phase 1, 2 and 3 of The Westridge in 2008.

Yes, Mr Weideman was contracted by Beyond Group to design and oversee the building of the houses but his services were terminated for reasons not known to us other than he was not fulfilling service obligations. Another architect was appointed to continue with the work. However, Mr Weideman’s name is still on the building plans of properties of The Westridge.

He cannot say that they were not part of the “old developers” – as the then architects and the now architects are one and the same.

They know what the original layout and plans were for the area. In fact, should one do a Google search for Gerd Weideman Architects, one will see the lie they are selling to people.

The Westridge development is there as one of their projects and the first two very pretty designs of the area are the designs that were shown to buyers in the very beginning.

The developer is washing his hands and trying to shift responsibility. But the fact remains – they are still responsible.