Contentious guesthouse gets the green light

Constructing a guesthouse in an affluent neighbourhood has proven to be very challenging.

13 August 2018 | Government

"Every person has the right to use their property to their personal preference..." Town Council

Jessica Botes

Even with numerous objections by neighbouring property owners, the Swakopmund town council has approved an application for the development of a residential guesthouse in Nord Strand Street.

The guesthouse, which will be located on erf 546, will feature six guestrooms and will be operated from a private dwelling. As such, the town council’s accommodation establishment policy stipulates that the owner or manager will be required to reside on the property permanently and only 40% of the floor area of the house may be used for guests. The appearance of the building must also be residential in character.

Van der Westhuizen Town Planning and Properties, on behalf of the developer, made an application for consent to construct and operate a residential guesthouse on the property to the town council in 2011. This application was first approved by the town council in March 2011, but the decision was appealed by the objectors’ legal representatives to the ministry of urban and rural development. The ministry subsequently requested comments from the town council in terms of the appeal. After the matter was considered by the ministry, council’s initial decision was upheld.

As a result of the delay in the process, another application was made for council to grant a renewal of the consent as the initial consent granted by council in 2011 has lapsed in terms of clause 6 under section 6.3.1 of the Swakopmund Town Planning Scheme.

The proposed consent was advertised in a local newspaper in February 2018 where after numerous objections were again received by the neighbouring property owners.

One of the objections raised was that the guesthouse would inextricably change the character of the residential area into a mixed use area which would also detrimentally affect the property values of all neighbouring properties.

During a discussion of the objection, council said that no evidence exists on such devaluation of property.

“In fact, the presence of such guesthouse in an area immanent to change in future due to expansion of the business and mixed use area, will make these areas more sought after for similar uses. This will have the opposite effect as expressed by the objector.”

Another objection raised was that the development would cause a disruption of traffic in Nord Strand Street due to additional traffic in the area.

Council responded by saying that this objection cannot be supported as there is no proof to this.

“All over Swakopmund there are similar establishments but traffic flow seems to be normal. The reconstruction of Nord Strand Street in fact makes conditions even more favourable for such a guesthouse as traffic speeds are reduced considerably.”

One objector requested a copy of the proposed draft plans of the guesthouse. According to the objector, the planned building does not sufficiently resemble residential character as required by the policy.

Council said that there seems to be no guideline in terms of what constitutes a residential character.

“Every person has the right to use their property to their personal preference as long as it is in accordance with and conforms to the provision of the town planning scheme. The proposed guesthouse does in no way differ from Indongo guesthouse situated in close proximity. What is the objector referring to here? Which criteria were used to determine that the proposed development does not resemble residential character? The current design reflects a nautical appearance that can be associated with a coastal town and the owner has the right to choose his own design.”

In light of the approval already granted by the ministry, council took note of these objections and proceeded with the approval. According to council, the approval from the ministry does not lapse, however should objections still be received from neighbours, this approval takes precedence as the ministry is the highest authority and their approval stands.

In its recommendation, council granted approval for the application by Atlantic Detour to operate a residential guesthouse on condition that the Namibia Tourism Board grants permission and the applicant registers with the municipality’s health services department.

Final approval will only be granted by council if the applicant adheres to council’s accommodation establishment policy at all times and that the final building plans adhere to the provisions of the policy.

Council also reserved its right to cancel the consent should there be valid objections. Council also informed the objectors of their right to appeal to the minister against council’s resolution within 28 days.

Similar News


Municipal tariffs to increase with 8 percent overall

1 month - 15 April 2019 | Government

Walvis Bay - Leandrea Louw The chairperson of the management committee of the Walvis Bay council, Lilo Niilenge, has tabled the budget for...

Asbestos removal project under way

1 month - 15 April 2019 | Government

Arandis - Leandrea Louw The Walvis Bay municipal council accepted a proposal by Adcon CC to rehabilitate the hazardous waste site and create more space...

'The Topnaar throne is ours'

1 month - 01 April 2019 | Government

Swakopmund • Leandrea LouwChief Samuel #Khaxab and deputy chief Ephraim Petersen of the #Khaxab Royal House have been involved in a lengthy legal battle to...

Topnaar divided in absence of leader

1 month - 25 March 2019 | Government

Leandrea Louw - The Topnaar traditional council (TTC) called a community meeting to discuss the way forward after the untimely death of their chief, Seth...

Working towards gender equality

2 months ago - 04 March 2019 | Government

Leandrea Louw - A capacity building workshop of women in regional councils under the theme “Enhancing gender equality and women empowerment in Namibia”, concluded on...

Council approves MOU with SDFN

3 months ago - 18 February 2019 | Government

Adolf Kaure - The municipal council has approved a proposed memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Shack Dwellers Federations of Namibia (SDFN) during its latest...

ERC launches five-year strategic plan

4 months ago - 24 December 2018 | Government

Adolf Kaure -The Erongo regional council (ERC) launched its five-year strategic plan for the period 2017/2018 to 2021/2022 at the Mondesa Multipurpose Centre in Swakopmund...

Nashilundo re-elected as mayor

4 months ago - 24 December 2018 | Government

Adolf Kaure - Paulina Nashilundo was re-elected as the mayor of Swakopmund for 2019. The election of office bearers took place on Tuesday in the...

Solar heating for Municipal Rest Camp

5 months ago - 03 December 2018 | Government

Jessica BotesIn an effort to become more ‘green’ the Swakopmund Town Council has approved the installation of a solar geyser system at the Municipal Rest...

Municipality workers up in arms

5 months ago - 03 December 2018 | Government

Swakopmund municipality workers, who were represented by the Namibia Public Workers Union (NAPWU), held a demonstration on Tuesday expressing their dissatisfaction with their salaries for...

Latest News

Learners benefit from educational tour

3 days ago - 20 May 2019 | Education

Thirty-five grade 7 learners of Narraville Primary School (NPS) toured to South Africa recently. The learners visited various places of interest during the 16-day educational...

New term, new me

3 days ago - 20 May 2019 | Education

Walvis Bay - Karl Philander The second trimester of the year is usually the most important for senior secondary school learners. Here are some useful...

Living with lupus

3 days ago - 20 May 2019 | Health

Walvis Bay - Karl Philander Community members staged a march on World Lupus Day commemorated on Friday 10 May to raise public awareness about...

Tackling hepatitis E

3 days ago - 20 May 2019 | Health

Impacting cross border trade positively...

3 days ago - 20 May 2019 | Ministries

Namibia’s newly formed Revenue Agency (NamRA) aims for faster clearance times for legitimate trade and increased transparency in regulatory processes and decision-making in support of...

Oil storage capacity boosted ...

3 days ago - 20 May 2019 | Infrastructure

Walvis Bay - Leandrea Louw The minister of mines and energy, Tom Alweendo, visited the National Oil Storage Facility in Walvis Bay recently....

Four ROROs heading for Walvis...

3 days ago - 20 May 2019 | Infrastructure

The Port of Walvis Bay will receiving calls from 4 Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo) ships later this month, the provisional port log indicates.They will discharge over 350...

Grumpy’s fishing report

3 days ago - 20 May 2019 | Fishing

Grumpy Gramowski • Outdoor CentreCatches fluctuated during the past week. Reports received from the ski boat owners and crew members were far from exciting,...


3 days ago - 20 May 2019 | Fishing

Sunday, 19 May High 06:04 Low 12:07 High 18:40 Low 00:40 Monday, 20 May High 07:00 Low ...

Load More