By NQOBANI NDLOVU
BULAWAYO residents have been given up to mid-October to raise objections to the city’s new master plan which will see some property owners losing their land.
Already, Ingutsheni Mental Referral Hospital is likely to lose part of its land under the proposed masterplan that covers Bulawayo’s southern central areas including Hill Crest, Green Hill, Southwold, Montrose and Famona.
The master plan was unveiled in December 2020, and seeks to give the much-needed facelift to Bulawayo, a city that has been facing urban decay in recent years with no major infrastructural projects taking place.
In a notice issued on August 24, affected residents and other property owners have up to October 14 to register any objections to the proposed master plan.
“Council at its meeting of the August 4, 2021 adopted the southern central areas local plan number 16.
“The city gives notice, in terms of subsection (2) of section 18 of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act, 1996, as read with section 20 of the Regional, Town and Country Planning (Master and Local Plans) Regulations 1977, that the southern central areas local development plan number 16 has been adopted and is now on public exhibition,” the notice read in part.
The council has already formulated the plan’s report of study which has already gone through the requisite statutory consultations leading to the formation of the Written Statement (Policies and Proposals).
The four-year masterplan also seeks to transform the city to a smart city by 2024. In 2020, the local authority engaged the Infrastructure Development Bank (IDB) to carry out feasibility studies on clean energy projects in the city.
The city’s current operational master plan was prepared in 2000 following a review of the 1982 plan, the first such plan produced in the country under the then 1976 Regional, Town and Country Planning Act.
Since then, the city has been experiencing new physical, economic, social and environmental planning challenges as a result of the outdated master plan.
Follow Nqobani on Twitter @NqobaniNdlovu