PLETTENBERG Bay residents are protesting against plans for a R4-billion small boat harbour development.
As a show of their displeasure, they used their bodies to form a massive human “no” sign on the popular holiday town’s Central Beach on Saturday.
About 1000 residents and visitors protested against the planned development along the Piesang River mouth and Central Beach which is set to cover about 87000m².
The development is also set to include residential buildings, offices, a five-star hotel of 100 rooms, retail space, a plaza, a yacht club and about 2000 parking bays.
The protest, organised by among others the Plettenberg Bay Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association and the Community Environment Forum, follows massive opposition to Western Cape Marina Investments’ plans and have forced the company to rethink its strategy.
“We are pleased with the turnout, especially with this being our slow season,” forum chairman Rudi Nel said.
Plett small boat harbour portfolio holder Billy Nel said thousands of residents and visitors had signed a petition against the development.
Meanwhile, the Port Elizabeth- based CEN IEM Unit, which did the environment impact assessment for the developer, said it was overwhelmed by the number of objections and had been instructed by the developer to investigate ways of amending the proposal to make it more acceptable to the local community.
CEN’s Dr Mike Cohen said while there were 300 people who attended the public hearings, he had received more than 800 objections from Plettenberg Bay residents so far.
Nel said the main objections included the scope of the development being out of kilter with the size of the town as well as the process which had been followed in appointing the developer.