Walmer centre faces closure

ANGRY TENANTS: The new R18-million shopping centre in Main Road, Walmer, that faces imminent closure. Picture: FREDLIN ADRIAAN
ANGRY TENANTS: The new R18-million shopping centre in Main Road, Walmer, that faces imminent closure. Picture: FREDLIN ADRIAAN

Main Road complex not zoned for business

Concerned business owners, who are still seething after being ordered in October to halt trading at a new R18-million shopping centre in Port Elizabeth, are now assessing the future of their investments after discovering that building plans had not been lodged with the authorities.

The new centre, which has no official name and is situated in Walmer’s Main Road retail strip, opened in March and is now faced with an imminent shutdown.

A municipal building inspector has handed at least 11 tenants an order to cease trading because the two properties the centre stands on are not zoned for business.

However, the tenants, which include popular businesses The 2 Fat Butchers and Bannert on Bakery and Cafe, are still trading, but have expressed concern about their immediate future in the centre where they invested capital to set up shop ahead of the festive season.

When contacted last week, the owner of the centre, Kent Dyson, said the tenants were not at risk of eviction or closure and that the centre had been rezoned from residential to business two about six weeks ago.

Municipal spokesman Mthubanzi Mniki confirmed yesterday that there were zoning problems associated with the centre.

“There are no approved building plans for the centre. All plans were approved for a residential dwelling,” he said.

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