BY VANESSA GONYE
Residents of MOUNT Pleasant want the development of clustered houses funded by the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) and the government at Stand 605 Lot 1 on the corner of Sumbem o Pendennis Road and Twickenham Drive to be halted as the area is an area humid.
In a Notice of Objection dated March 8, 2022 addressed to the City of Harare and Harare Pendennis Road and Twickenham Drive Tafadzwa Muguti, residents cited the destruction of the wetland as the reason for their objection.
“Historically, there have been multiple objections to land use change and cluster housing development on this stand, and this letter confirms that residents of Mount Pleasant, Vainona and surrounding suburbs oppose the land use change. open space and recreation land use to cluster housing development and oppose cluster housing development on this land,” the letter read in part.
They advocated for the protection of remaining wetlands amid a climate change crisis and water scarcity in the city.
Residents said a large cluster development would negatively affect property values in the area, to the detriment of existing residents.
Harare Wetlands Trust program director Celestino Chari said there was a need for local authorities to look into residents’ objections.
“It is also necessary to review the consultation process so that it meets current needs. Newspaper advertisements are no longer effective and there is a need to change the planning law,” he said.
The stand in question is located on the Borrowdale vlei or wetland which empties into the Gwebi River which flows into Lake Manyame.
Last year, the developers of the stand informed the inhabitants of their intention to build the units of the cluster.
There have been repeated calls to refrain from developing property on wetlands, with responsible authorities accused of allocating settlements in protected areas for selfish purposes.
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