Judge stops Sandy Bay bulldozers
after seeing images published in the newspaper
First published in The Cape Times
Page One lead story, August 29, 1974
Not available online
CAPE TOWN — The developers of Sandy Bay, Costa Areosa (Pty) Limited, were yesterday stopped by Mr. Justice Diemont from bulldozing ground in the area until a ruling has been given on the issue.
Costa Areosa gave Judge Diemont an undertaking to stop the bulldozing after an urgent application was brought before
An aerial view of the still pristine Sandy Bay (center, foreground) with the community of Hout Bay across the hillside and the world renowned Chapman’s Peak drive (not visible) that winds around the mountains in the distance.
the Cape Supreme Court by a Llandudno resident, Mr. Frederick Moltke. In court was the co-developer of Sandy Bay, Mr. Bill Mitchell. He was wearing dark glasses.
Mr. Justice Diemont said of the bulldozing operations: “It surprises me that the developers should do this sort of thing. I find it very distressing.
“I would have thought Costa Areosa would have waited until going ahead with this. It must be bad for their own public relations. The picture is a very distressing one.
REFERRING to a picture published in the Cape Times yesterday of a bulldozer at Sandy Bay, Judge Diemont said it had “disturbed” him.
In an affidavit before the court, Mr. Moltke claimed that:
– He personally spoke to the driver of the bulldozer yesterday and tried to stop the bulldozing operation, but when the driver picked up a stone he left the property.
– Photographs of the area with the development superimposed presented “an entirely false picture.”
He tried to discuss the matter with Dr. Jan Marais, chairman of the Trust Bank, but was refused permission to see him.
– Irreparable harm was being done to the natural vegetation and sand dunes.
Mr Moltke applied for an order restraining Costa Areosa from carrying out operations for the development of the Sandy Bay area and ordering them to restore the property to the condition it was in before operations for the development started.
IN HIS affidavit, he said that he had been a resident of Llandudno since February.
“I was under the impression that the development of Sandy Bay would be held over until the Provincial Council had an opportunity of considering objections which have been raised. I ascertained on Tuesday August 27 that building operations had already commenced on the property. The bulldozer was flattening the vegetation and destroying it at a point approximately 200 yards above the high water mark.
“On Wednesday, August 28 (yesterday) I personally spoke to the driver of the bulldozer and endeavoured to stop him with his bulldozing operations. The driver of the bulldozer refused to continue the discussion with me and when he picked up a stone, I left the property”
In a sworn affidavit before the court, the Provincial Secretary, Mr. Wynand Vivier, said that no decisions had been taken by the Divisional Council about the development.
“Objections against the development of Sandy Bay have been handed in and the Divisional Council decided at its latest meeting to discuss the objections at a future meeting.”
Mr. Moltke said he first became aware that Sandy Bay was to be developed after he read a newspaper advertisement on July 19. The following week he examined drawings and plans of the scheme.
He also saw photographs with the township scheme superimposed.
“I immediately noticed that the photographs presented an entirely false picture because the township scheme was reflected as being a minute and small size in comparison with the whole of the surrounding area, while in fact, according to my knowledge, the housing scheme would have taken up a far larger area of land than depicted in the photographs.”
Mr. Moltke said he then attempted to discuss the matter with Dr Jan Marais, chairman of the Trust Bank, but was refused permission to see him.
He also tried to get a copy of the brochure of the housing scheme from the Trust Bank and the Provincial Administration, but he could not.
He then contacted the architect’s secretary and was told it would cost him R50 to get a copy of the brochure.
“When I immediately tendered to pay this amount I was informed that no copies were available.”
In his affidavit, Mr Moltke submitted that, should the development continue, it would constitute a nuisance to his enjoyment of the premises he owns as well as the surrounding area.
“I furthermore submit that irreparable harm is being done to the natural vegetation and also the sand dunes, and that the natural beauty is being disturbed.”
Attached to the affidavit from Mr Moltke were reports from yesterday’s Cape Times headlined “Bulldozer incident at Sandy Bay” and “Bay project: New attack.”
The attorneys representing Costa Areosa asked for a postponement of the hearing as there was evidence they wished to submit.
Judge Diemont granted the postponement after a short adjournment during which Costa Areosa agreed to undertake that there would be no more bulldozing until the judge gave his ruling.