Residents red-flag Harare cluster house construction

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Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe

BY VANESSA GONYE
MOUNT Pleasant residents want the development of cluster houses being funded by the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) and government at stand 605 Lot 1 of Sumbem corner o Pendennis Road and Twickenham Drive stopped as the area is a wetland.

In an objection notice dated March 8, 2022 addressed to the City of Harare and Harare Pendennis Road and Twickenham Drive Tafadzwa Muguti, the residents cited destruction of the wetland as the reason of their objection.

“Historically, there have been multiple objections over the change of land use and development of cluster housing on this stand, and this letter confirms that the residents of Mount Pleasant, Vainona and surrounding suburbs, object to change of land use from open space and recreation to development of cluster housing, and object to the development of cluster housing on this land,” the letter read in part.

They pleaded for protection on remaining wetlands amid a climate change crisis and water shortage in the city.

The residents said a large cluster development would negatively affect the values of properties in the area, to the detriment of existing residents.

Harare Wetlands Trust programmes manager Celestino Chari said there was need for local authorities to consider objections by residents.

“There is also a need to revisit the consultation process so that it meets the current needs. Newspaper adverts are no longer effective and there is need to amend the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act,” he said.

The stand in question is located on the Borrowdale vlei or wetland which drains into the Gwebi River which flows into Lake Manyame.

Last year, the developers of the stand notified residents of their intention to build the cluster units.

There have been repeated calls to desist from developing properties on wetlands with responsible authorities being blamed for allocating stands in protected areas for selfish gains.

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