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COUNCIL CONSULTS THE CENTRAL RESIDENTIAL AREA RESIDENTS AND ...
25/04/16
City of Francistown Council held a consultation meeting with residents of Central Residential Area (CRA) with regard to the proposed change of land use in their area. The consultation was held on the 18th April 2016 at the Civic Centre Hall.  The previous consultation on the proposed change of land use of the area was held way back in 2011 where those in attendance gave a resounding NO to the proposal. Regrettably the Council has been receiving applications from residents and property owners in CRA who want to change the land use of their plots.

COUNCIL CONSULTS THE CENTRAL RESIDENTIAL AREA RESIDENTS AND PROPERTY OWNERS

City of Francistown Council held a consultation meeting with residents of Central Residential Area (CRA) with regard to the proposed change of land use in their area. The consultation was held on the 18th April 2016 at the Civic Centre Hall.  The previous consultation on the proposed change of land use of the area was held way back in 2011 where those in attendance gave a resounding NO to the proposal. Regrettably the Council has been receiving applications from residents and property owners in CRA who want to change the land use of their plots.

The intension of the meeting of the 18th April 2016 was to get views from residents and property owners of CRA pertaining to the proposed change of the land use of CRA from residential to mixed land use.  Based on the Council receiving applications from the area in question, it was evident that there is need to consider this issue hence the consultation with these key stakeholders. In the meantime the Council will not consider any application on the change of land use from CRA.

When commenting, residents and property owners agreed that they are not against change of land use of the area, they only want the character of the area to be maintained. They complained about guest houses in their area which sells liquor and causes noise at awkward times in the area. Furthermore, residents complained about lack of parking space for the said guest house hence their guests parking in front of other residential properties. They also complained about a number of mushrooming multi residential developments which they argued altered the character of their area. They also raised concern with some old historical buildings facing the likelihood of being demolished without due regard to their historical importance.

In responding, the Council pointed out that the meeting was one of the ways through which the City of Francistown Development Plan (1997-2021) was being implemented. This plan calls for the redevelopment of the Central Business District (CBD) and in carrying out this the plan points out that “[t]he need for a study on the Central Residential Area, Minestone and Government Camp to make appropriate recommendations regarding possibility of rezoning of the plots for other uses has been identified”. It was in view of this that the Council consults the residents of and property owners of in CRA. The outcome of the consultative meeting was to determine whether the study as called for by the plan was to be undertaken of not. Further the Council pointed out that the fears expressed by the attendees will be addressed through the recommendations from the study and use of the existing regulatory framework such as the Town & Country Planning Act and the Development Control Code among others.

Residents agreed to allow the Council to do a study on the area to determine which land use will be appropriate for the area. They demanded that the findings of the study must be able to influence recommendations that will make CRA a better place to live in ensuring that the area retains its uniqueness.      

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