The proposed new garage at the entrance to Kenton

by | Jul 3, 2020 | Blog, Building and Town Planning | 25 comments

Many of our ratepayers are probably wondering what has transpired with regard to this project.

The current legal position relating to the proposed garage is: The applicant has to jump through 5 hoops.

    1. As the garage is to be situated on the R72, which is a National Road, the applicant needs SANRAL approval. He obtained it. We have strenuously objected to this approval, pointing out that it was based on a hopelessly out of date Traffic Impact Assessment (“TIA”), which drew ridiculously wrong conclusions. SANRAL has commissioned a new TIA, which has been delayed by Covid. We have furnished accident statistics around the intersection of the R72 and the Kenton entrance to the Traffic Engineer who has been commissioned to do the TIA. He is due to visit Kenton to do the assessment in the near future, and we will meet with him. We hope that his TIA will at least result in extensive traffic calming measures at the Kenton entrance if not result in the garage being refused.
    2. SANRAL required the erven to be subdivided and reconsolidated to align the egress from the garage with Oettle Street. We objected, but it was approved by Ndlambe, subject to a new TIA being conducted and approved by SANRAL. We have lodged an appeal, which we hope will be heard soon. Among our numerous grounds of appeal, we do not believe that Ndlambe has the power, in law, to delegate the decision to SANRAL.
    3. The Applicant had to do an Environmental Impact Assessment to obtain Environmental Approval. That was objected to in 2015 by KOSRA. The Approval was granted in November 2015 and was valid for 2 years. It was extended for 2 years until November 2019. KOSRA has written repeated letters to the Department of Environment to get confirmation that it was not again extended. So far, we have elicited no reply, despite repeated reminders. We are pursuing this
    4. The Applicant will have to get a site development plan approved by Ndlambe. When we are notified of this we will again object.
    5. The applicant needs licences from the Department of Energy to open and operate a new garage. In spite of strenuous and cogent objections by Eugene de Witt, the owner of Kenton Garage in early 2019, the licences were granted. As far as we can ascertain, no objection was lodged by KOSRA in early 2019. Mr de Witt has lodged an appeal, and KOSRA has sent a letter to the Department of Energy supporting the appeal.

So, in spite of strenuous and cogent objections to all 4 applications so far, various departments have nevertheless granted them and granted extensions. Is a pattern emerging?

We fear that this one is going to end up in court.

Read previous articles from this topic:

25 Comments

  1. I am surprised that KOSRA would oppose this development seeing that the garage in Kenton cannot cope during peak times . I assume it would reduce traffic in that area and bring some competition to the existing garage . I would support this initiative .

    • KOSRA is doing what the vast majority of Kenton residents want.

      • Firstly have we ever had a referendum of KOSRA members as to how many in favour of this development versus not?
        Secondly has any feedback been received from our neighbours across the R72?

    • I don’t know who would own this new garage .. but any development on the R72, especially to create space for national tenants, who be the start of the collapse of our unique CBD. We should do everything possible
      to support local business in our town.

  2. Thanks for tirelessly fighting this for us.

  3. I imagine that the local community would still support Eugene rather than go to the national road for fuel and/or service. But he’d probably lose out on the seasonal rush. If the new plan goes through, would he get compensation of any kind for loss of business?

    • Unfortunately, we do not think that he would be able to claim compensation

  4. I whole-heartedly support the objections to having another garage – far more important is the dangerous traffic intersection at Kenton’s entrance. It really calls for an underpass or overpass.
    All garages experience congestion over the Season and Eugene has done so much for Kenton he doesn’t deserve to have his business compromised.
    If you know the garage at Kenton is extra busy over the Season one can always pull in early or late in the day when things are quieter.

    • Excellent point about the dangers of that intersection Atholl – may I suggest a compromise – they can have the new garage provided they build the underpass or overpass!

  5. Why does KOSRA not rather SUPPORT this development. The development will be of great benefit and and much added value to KENTON.
    The road traffic flow will be improved – as the developer will have to provide road infrastructure as part of the development, this will enforced as part of the detailed planning.
    The main street has to function at a level way beyond the volumes that it was designed to handle.

    I for one will object to KOSRA spending community raised funds for legal expenses, in going to court to oppose the development.
    I appeal to all to move with the times and improve our area with this or other similar developments that are remote from our beaches.
    In closing I wish to confirm that I have no relationship of any kind with proposed developers or other commercial or parties.

  6. I would like to respond to Gareth Tindall.
    Perhaps he has only been to Kenton in peak season over December when he may have been inconvenienced by a queue (at certain times) for fuel.
    The only reason the garage is available at peak periods is because it has eked out another year of existence between these periods. An alternative fuel source at the entrance to Kenton, as proposed, will generate absolute mayhem for traffic in season, far worse than a queue at the garage in town. It will also be the death knell of the garage in town.
    I suggest that Gareth get up a little earlier to avoid the potential rush at the pumps and consider the plight of existing business owners who operate under very trying circumstances

  7. I fully support the KOSRA objection to the development. Those suggesting we need to move with the times actually need to catch a wake-up! They will find that our beautiful spot by the sea will be sadly eroded of its uniqueness when this (first of more) developments goes ahead. It is not only the garage that will suffer – the Spar, restaurants and take-aways in town will also feel the impact of sales happening outside of town by the residents from Merryhill and Ekuphumleni as well as visitors. Everyone should be up in arms to protect our beautiful Kenton! – having a large fuel, food and drink shopping centre really is not progress. Save those for Joburg!

    • In my opinion you have have not thought it through properly- one cannot live in the dark ages – too many people in the world to stay static – think future – employment / healthy competition- our dangerous intersection will at last be attended to – bring in more revenue to the small businesses- diesel price may drop as it’s more expensive by a rand per litre that at Alex – and uplift Kenyon or would you like to be like a one horse town? 🤣

      • If Ms Burr reads KOSRA’s report on this website, she will see that SANRAL has already approved the garage without any conditions or plans to mitigate “our dangerous intersection”.

      • If Ms Burr reads KOSRA’s report on this website, she will see that SANRAL has already approved the garage without
        any conditions or plans whatsoever for mitigation of “our dangerous intersection”>

    • It is my opinion ,humble ,as a non resident but able as a rate payer that:
      1. It will spoil our wonderful unique little town and turn it into another Plett. With cars queuing into the N2 at busy times and flashing neon signs everywhere not to mention litter lying And flying about.
      2. Esthetically it will be an eye sore – no garage is a pretty sight and create huge traffic problems.
      3. I agree there is a room for another petrol station but cannot it be in a safer less dominant place. Maybe a compromise is needed?
      5.if it were to go ahead I hope the Kenton powers that be would insist on many trees planted to soften the look and lovely roadside gardens with thousands(!!!) of trash cans Oh dear..
      4. Finally I would hate our entrance to turn into a truck stop ……….. 🙇‍♀️😞

  8. I fully agree with Athol Ryder and Ed Grondel and all they have said – We do not want or need another garage here in Kenton

  9. Have you noticed how many young (toddlers to all ages) persons cross the R72 between the entrance to Kenton and the Kariega bridge? Having a Garage with R72 off-ramp in this area, endangers these young lives even more than the current situation.
    As a motorist when travelling from Port Alfred, I am always extremely cautious when approaching this very dangerous R72 and R365 intersection (Kenton Intersection) as there are always motorists turning into Kenton, turning up the R365 and straight on traffic with only two lanes and a taxi drop-off to confuse the situation even more.
    Pedestrians and “J” walkers are crossing over the roads an this intersection. I am against this garage development at the entrance to Kenton in this pristine unique area. The traffic signage and road markings are in adequate to say the least.
    From an earlier supportive comment. :- this will not reduce the traffic congestion in town center in peak periods(Garage), but add an even worse additional traffic congestion situation at the Kenton entrance.
    Perhaps the COVID-19 situation will make the government think twice about the ” Densification” project, that is aggravating social distancing and overloading the current infrastructure throughout the country.

  10. I have spent all of my working career in the motor industry which included the management and running of numerous fuel filling stations. I am certainly not in favour of an additional filling station so close to the entrance to Kenton and to residential property on both sides of the R72. I comment below as a result of my experience in this industry.

    1. Residents and business owners in close proximity to filling stations continually complained about the noise levels, particularly at night due to 24 hour service.
    2. Trucks very often overnight at these stations for their own security.
    3. Filling stations are notorious for attracting large numbers of casual visitors and this leads to in many cases of drug trafficking, prostitution and littering taking place.

    Further to the above I do not believe there is a need for an additional fuel station on the R72 which would firstly certainly erode the business of the one filling station which we have in Kenton and which out of season is not a high pumper of fuel, but does provide a service to local residents. Further there are fuel stations currently in Port Alfred, Alex and the newly erected one at Nanaga which would all detrimentally feel the effect of an additional station for which no one can yet convince me is required.
    Finally any new jobs which will be created will be nullified by the jobs lost at the current facilities, as your volumes drop – so does your number of employees drop.

  11. I’m also totally against this garage at the entrance to our village and will support KOSRA’S efforts in opposing it.

    What is the latest with the proposal to develop the area in the vicinity of the pigeon club which is also supposed to have a garage and fuel stop. I’m in favour of that development as it will provide a much needed service for the residents in that area.

    • To date, KOSRA had heard no further information relating to the proposed development near the Pigeon Club.

  12. i am certainly completely against the garage. It is must TOO DANGEROUS, the crossing is an absolutely nightmare. There are garages in Alexandria and immediately one gets to Port Alfred there is one surely drivers can make their plans accordingly.

  13. There are many inaccuracies in this report by KOSRA, please residents be careful to hear only one side of the story. Please also read the developer’s reply to the objections during the Environment Impact Assessment and the recent Subdivision Application, then you will have the whole picture.
    It seems, in my opinion, that some KOSRA members have a personal interest against this development and they are manipulating the public opinion.
    The best way to know both versions, KOSRA & Developer, and make the own opinion is to read the full applications, the objections, and the responses.
    It is always two side of the coin.

    As a Architect, I have been involved with the Developer in this development for more than 15 years.

  14. Regarding the proposed petrol station at entrance to Kenton, I cannot see that
    it will benefit the town or the residents in any way whatsoever. All it will contribute is interruption to traffic flow past Kenton, noise, congestion, danger to pedestrians crossing from Ekuphumleni and generally impact on our peaceful way of life. It will be of no benefit to anyone living and owning property in Kenton so what possible reason can there be to allow the development to take place. It offers no advantages to the rate payers of Kenton and SHOULD NOT be allowed to proceed. I feel very strongly about this as do all the people I know living in Kenton. DO NOT ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN.

  15. Noreen MCNamara
    George, we Kentonites are very privileged to have you handling this emotive garage situation. There is nothing peaceful about car carriers, pantechnicons, huge overloaded trucks RACING from the Eco estate, passing on solid no overtaking areas between the bridges, plus vehicles who think two headlights are optional extras. Solid lines are considered graffiti. If an integrated garage plan deals with these tragedies waiting to happen, which would obviously focus on a calming circle or robots to Kenton,s entrance, we give our support. The key to any improvements on this dangerous stretch of road will be the enforced implementation of new regulations. The cameras used for registration recognition which are a HUGE success are monitored and have proved invaluable.
    Thank you for your tireless work .

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