An update from Architecture & Heritage

The Architecture & Heritage committee has hit the ground running this year, with an expanded committee, heritage applications already rolling in for comment, and some new projects on the horizon.

Naomi Roux has taken over this portfolio from Kirstin Mackenzie, who did an amazing job keeping the A&H portfolio on task through 2020, developing good systems for dealing with applications and other heritage/planning issues, and building good relationships with the City of Cape Town Heritage & Environmental Management team. We hope to build on Kirstin and her team’s good work by putting together some clear development principles and criteria for the neighbourhood, keeping residents well-informed about pending developments and calls for comment, and keeping a close eye on development and planning activities that affect Observatory more generally. We are really pleased that Makgosi Letimile has agreed to join the committee with a particular interest in participatory and inclusive planning, and in working on issues around accessibility in the Obs built environment: if this is something you’d like to contribute to, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

One of the A&H committee’s important functions is to comment on building and development applications that are likely to impact on heritage resources in Obs. These comments become part of the public record and legally must be included in any applications made to Heritage Western Cape. We work on comments as a team, made up of architects, planners, historians, urban studies experts and heritage experts, among others. If you are an architect or built environment professional with an interest in heritage and would like to join us, please get in touch! We are also happy to point you in the right direction if you are planning alterations to your property – legally any alterations that affect a structure older than 60 years must go through a permitting process, and this can be a bit opaque and intimidating if you haven’t done it before. You can reach us at [email protected].