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Balfour Park Precinct set for upgrades Print E-mail
06 July 2017
BalfourPark

The proposed Balfour Park Precinct Upgrade Programme will boost investment and increase the value of properties around the area, according to Ayanda Ngcobo, a Senior Specialist Town Planner in the City of Johannesburg’s Development Planning Department.

Ngcobo was addressing residents on the development of the Louis Botha Avenue and Atholl Road intersection and surrounding areas at a public engagement session at Northview High School in Balfour Park, Region E, on Wednesday July 5.

Ngcobo told residents that once the area was developed it would help to strengthen the local economy by enticing new investors, which would in turn help to create job opportunities for locals.

The project, approved by the Joburg city council in 2016, will focus on public environment upgrades at the intersection and surrounding areas, mainly in Ward 74, and wards 72 and 73 to a lesser extent.

Ngcobo said this was one of the projects identified in the already existing and approved Balfour Park Precinct Development Plan to make the area attractive to investors.

Nadia Tromp of urban designing company Ntsika Architects said one of the objectives of the upgrade was to develop more housing units and retail outlets and improve driveways. “It is also aimed at making the street edges friendlier and safer. The traffic will also be slowed down. The Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station, which is currently being constructed along Louis Botha Avenue, is also a part of the plan.

“What we want to do is to make sure that this area becomes one of the most attractive precincts in the city. With this upgrade, we want to create a culture of walking and promote the use of non-motorised transport facilities.

“This plan ties in very well with the City’s BRT system. It also helps to create an environment where people can feel safe to walk within their spaces,” said Tromp, who added that the City was committed to ensuring the upgrade was “interactive with residents”.

Local resident Daniel Muller said: “This promises to be a very good project for our neighbourhood. But we are hoping that it does not, like the BRT construction, take too long to finish. We like the plan and the idea, but if takes time people are going to get upset and that might cause more problems.”

The city of Joburg will soon have more engagement sessions with community members who will be directly affected by the developments. Their views and inputs will be incorporated into the projects.

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Last Updated on 06 July 2017