The development at 9 Old Main Road on the corner of Stockville and Old Main Roads in Gillitts has become quite controversial, mainly due to the rumour mill.
The development is going to be on the site of the current Gillitts Hardware store and is going to occupy about 3000 square metres. Businesses that will initially occupy the centre are: Checkers, Gillitts Hardware, PostNet and at least one coffee shop. Checkers has applied for a liquor license due to the fact that they sell wine in the store.
The reason there was no public notification or opportunity for the surrounding residents to object is because the land was rezoned approximately 8 years ago and that was the time at which there was public notification and an opportunity for objections.
The application has gone through all the municipal departments for recommendations and approval, some of the issues the developer has had to incorporate into their plan is the placement of traffic lights at the Stockville Rd – Old Main Road intersection, and a widening of the road.
Councillor Rick Crouch has spoken to both eThekwini Roads and Provincial Department of Transport, and the MR 360 freeway that was slated to go right through that property from Gillitts to the N3 will not happen for at least 20 to 30 years, if at all, as there is no funding.
More than 20 years ago when the MR 360 project was first raised, the residents of Gillitts objected strenuously against it and because the cost has escalated so much since then it most likely will not see the light of day. “Some might say this was very short-sighted of those who objected because that is why we are left with the M13 and Fields Hill mess, not to mention the increased rush hour traffic on the quickly deteriorating Stockville Road. Perhaps a lesson here is that we should not just object for the sake of objecting we have to look at the long term,” says Councillor Rick Crouch.
This centre will not only ease the traffic on Old Main Road in Hillcrest but the new businesses occupying the centre will also create much needed jobs for local residents.
Contact Councillor Rick Crouch on www.ward10.co.za or call 073 418 6996.