PLEASE SUBMIT ANY OBJECTIONS BY 8pm on TUESDAY 17th March 2020 (details below)
An application has been made for the Business 1 zoning of erf 211 Greenside (120 Greenway) to be amended to allow for the development of a full petrol station, with additional retail, operating 24 hours, 7 days a week, on the corner of Greenway and Gleneagles Road. A copy of the notice which was pinned to the fence of the property and a copy of the supporting memorandum from the developer can be read here.
The GRA would like to register its significant concern about the application for this site, which is located on a corner site within our local neighbourhood node. The site is very close to many residential properties and flats and does not lend itself to a filling station or busy retail use. In addition the site is directly adjacent to the Greenside Design College and next door to Carlton Hair Academy, both institutions educating hundreds of young people.
Residents of the suburb have expressed concerns about :
Safety issues : Petroleum is a dangerous substance and there are legitimate concerns about the health and safety implications of living or studying alongside a petrol station. There are high risk and dangers associated with petroleum product as a highly inflammable product, its transportation, offloading, storing and sale points and facilities should not be taken for granted like other products. In locating petrol stations, it is important to take some precautionary measures like locating them at a required distance from buildings; places of public assembly such as schools and areas of high traffic congestions and residential buildings. For examples of research into, and policy regarding this issue see : here and here
Environmental impacts : there is a great deal of research on the impact to the environment of petrol stations. The Gauteng Provincial Government Environmental Impact Assessment guidelines for the Construction and Upgrade of Filling Stations and associated tank installations states that there is a significant environmental risk associated with the development of filling stations. “Past experience has shown that filling stations are major sources of pollution in Gauteng and unless appropriate measures are in place, severe environmental impacts can be expected. …filling stations also have significant social impacts on the environment, which may detrimentally affect the social well-being of citizens. These include: …reduction in land value and real estate properties in proximity of filling stations, Impact on the safety and security of an area and specifically adjacent properties.”
Increase in noise and light pollution : “Filling stations are a source of Disturbing Noises …..associated with motor cars and trucks braking and accelerating to and from such facilities. For example, it appears that even a single heavy diesel truck leaving a road during the small hours of a morning, could within a few minutes of coming to a halt with its engine running, contravene the provisions of the Gauteng Noise Control Regulations (GN R.5479, 20 August 1999). The effects of noise on the environment are particularly relevant for filling stations in urban/ built-up/ residential areas.” The developers are asking for retail in addition to petrol station rights and indicated in previous communications that this would be a 24 hour 7 day a week operation. This means the disturbances to the suburb related to the noise of drag racing, revving car motors, car boot parties etc are likely to be exacerbated if there is a 24 hour convenience store open in the heart of our suburb, metres away from people’s apartments and family homes.
Further strain on that intersection’s already strained ageing infrastructure in terms of power, water and sewage: that section of Gleneagles/ Greenway is consistently plagued by water leaks, burst pipes, and power outages
The unsuitability of that site for a petrol station as it is unlikely to be able to provide enough space for oil tankers to be able to access without encroaching onto the pavements and leading to developments such as the cutting down of the beautiful tree on the pavement.
The negative impact in terms of noise, damage to road surfaces , and traffic congestion with regards to movement through the suburb’s residential street of the big oil tankers necessary for refuelling.
The site is at the intersection of two through routes through Greenside, a main commuting route for traffic, and entrance and exits for a filling station will exacerbate the existing traffic congestion and safety issues at this intersection. In response to these traffic issues, after many years of planning, the Johannesburg Roads Agency, have just embarked on a significant upgrade to that corner, which will see the circles removed (this has already happened) and traffic lights being installed at that intersection.
The use of the site in question for a filling station is likely to have a detrimental impact on the suburb, and is not in keeping with the current extensive upgrading of the public environment and traffic management measures that JRA is, at this time, undertaking. The JRA complete roads project, many years in the planning, is aimed at promoting improved walkability and safer, ‘greener’ pavements and public spaces. The Greenside Precinct Plan also envisages a higher density residential environment and the presence of an additional filling station in the suburb is not a compatible or desirable use in terms of the overall planning objectives for the node.
In addition we raise questions regarding the developer’s unsubstantiated claim that the suburb is in need of an additional filling station and that this would add to the amenity of Greenside. There are already two well established large petrol stations, a Shell and Engen, both with retail and fast food facilities within 500m and 550m respectively from the proposed site. There has been no significant development of our well established suburb that would suggest any need for additional petrol or diesel sales
The GRA are of the opinion that the developer’s motivating memorandum is wholly inadequate to support this application. They acknowledge that a previous small filling station on that site, many years ago, failed. The rights to the filling station were forfeited and the underground storage tanks decommissioned and removed more than two decades ago. The applicants provide almost no meaningful information as to their proposed new build and business operation, make sweeping generalizations about what the suburb needs without having consulted with the residents or other businesses in the suburb. They seem completely unaware of current developments in the suburb with regards the road upgrades and provide no evidence that they have any understanding of the circumstances of the suburb or the local neighbourhood node.
All objections must be emailed to : email@example.com and copied to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by the 8pm on Tuesday 17th March 2020. A template objection is available to download and adapt (please be sure to complete your own details and date, and as far as possible to put into your own words and add your own concerns, thoughts or emphasis). TEMPLATE OBJECTION