New hotel, holiday flats in the offing

TWO holiday accommodation establishments are on the cards for the Port Elizabeth beachfront.

The Nelson Mandela Bay council recently approved the rezoning of an apartment block to permit a licensed hotel in Marine Drive, as well as the rezoning of a property in Happy Valley Drive to allow the development of permanent residential and/or holiday accommodation.

The conditions for the rezoning of the hotel in Marine Drive include measures to minimise the impact of the proposed business on the adjacent properties and to allow for on-site parking in the ratio of two bays per three bedrooms.

The application is for a property that is accessible from Marine Drive and Fourth Avenue, Summerstrand.

The rezoning of the property in Happy Valley Drive is to allow for the development of permanent residential and holiday accommodation.

The property may be developed into a hotel complex, holiday flats and/or apartments, chalets, a holiday village or caravan park. It was previously zoned for use as a caravan park and resort. The property is located in the Brookes Hill node.

Summerstrand ward councillor and Economic Development and Recreational Services Committee member Dean Biddulph confirmed the two rezonings.

"It is encouraging that developers are sinking funds into developments in the beachfront area. This comes on the back of recent municipal developments at the beachfront and shows confidence in the local tourism sector of Nelson Mandela Bay.

"If a development is in the interest of the community and will benefit the city's economy, I support it," Biddulph said.

He said it was still unclear who the developers of the two properties would be and what their funding models would entail.

FNB Home Loans head of sales Ewald Kellerman said in buying properties, such as the two rezoned beachfront spaces, a valuation of the property as a whole would be done by the bank but developers would apply for a commercial loan instead of a home loan.

"The type of loan would depend on the purpose of the development. If the apartments are sold off individually as sectional title units, home loans would be offered," he said.

The FNB Home Loans Quarterly Report, for the third quarter, illustrated a larger trend of a drop in new home loan applications for small business owners, which quantifies the financial strain that small businesses have undergone since the 2008 recession.

"In the height of the property boom in 2007, around 24% of new home loan applications were received from applicants who generate income from their own businesses. Such applications where 'self-employed' individuals are party to the proposed loan have proportionately halved to just over 12% of new applications submitted in recent years, indicating a significant change in the home loans environment," Kellerman said.