Sur la Plage developer pleads for more time

The Swakopmund town council has drawn the line at giving any further extensions of time to the developers of the old swimming pool site.

03 December 2018 | Tourism

Lighthouse Property Investment, developer; “LPIT had a meeting with Namport and State House regarding the concern relating to the possibility of the height posing security risks.”

Jessica Botes

The contentious ten-storey Sur la Plage development on the old swimming pool site at the Mole in Swakopmund, has been dealt another blow.

The application of the developer, Lighthouse Property Investment Trust (LPIT), to the town council for an extension of four years to complete the project has been denied.

Instead, the council set a final extension of 26 months for the completion of the development.

LPIT will have eight months to get all the legally required consent, approval and authorisation from council, neighbours, Namport, Erongo Red and State House. This will include the issuing of a building permit.

If this is not obtained by the deadline of 31 July 2019, a penalty charge of N$5 000 per day will be imposed on LPIT. In its application to council, the developer asked for this deadline to be set at 30 April 2020. The application was denied.

LPIT has been granted an additional 18 months to complete the project, six months less than the amount of time it applied for. Should it again fail to meet this deadline, an additional daily penalty of N$5 000 will be imposed. The council will not grant any additional extension and retains the right to cancel the contract.

In its application to council, LPIT said it was unable to commence with the construction of the project on the mutually agreed date of 9 October 2017, due to various unforeseen delays. These delays were mainly caused by the approval of the Town Planning Amendment Scheme No. 61 (which deals with the increase in the building height restrictions) and approval of building plans by the Aesthetics Committee which is still under discussion.

“LPIT also had a meeting with Erongo Red for the construction of the required substation on the erf. During February LPIT had a meeting with Namport and State House regarding the concern relating to the possibility of the height posing security risks for state accommodation facilities in the vicinity of the property. The last meeting in this regard was held during July. LPIT is awaiting formal written confirmation that the relevant authority is satisfied that the development poses no safety risks.”

In February, Namport stated in an article published on its website that it also stepped in to raise its concerns, as the current building design will obstruct the light beam of the Swakopmund Lighthouse.

The lighthouse serves a crucial role in the safety of vessels at sea off the Namibian coast. Electronic navigation, which includes GPS, radar and radio, does not replace the need for visual aids to navigation such as lights and day marks.

The town council also recommended that the developer provides six monthly updates on the progress of the development and ensures that there are no further delays. LPIT also has to clean and maintain the site to ensure the safety and security of the public at its cost and at its own risk.

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