Plans to develop a massive mixed-use precinct on 912ha around Lanseria International Airport were unveiled in Johannesburg this past week, according to media releases from the developers, Amari Land.

When completed this mix of commercial, industrial and residential facilities will be three times the size of the Sandton central business district.

“Cradle City, as the project is known, will comprise about 10 million m² of development bulk which will be worth an estimated R35bn when completed. That makes it the biggest single property development ever earmarked for Gauteng,” according to Fin24.com.

The RNC received notice of this development in October and registered as an I&AP, as it does for all applications in and around the Conservancy. We received a polite reply from the Public Participation Manager of Strategic Environmental Focus (SEF) saying: “Thank you for your request to participate in the Scoping and EIA of the abovementioned project. You have been registered on the stakeholder database and you will be kept informed of any progress in this regard.”

That was in October. A public meeting was arranged for 19 November in Mogale City – most inconvenient for local “stakeholders” – and the RNC was represented at the meeting. The only I&AP present, in fact.

Since then there has been total silence from SEF’s side, in spite of the dates given in their Background Information Document (BID), stating that further consultation would take place in January, with the Draft Scoping Report and plan of Study for Impact Assessment made available to the public as well.

"The development is aligned with the Gauteng government's growth and development strategy and enjoys the highest level of provincial and local government support. Earthworks on the first phase of the 912ha Cradle City precinct are set to kick off in May 2009,“ according to Fin24.com.

Is this another case of a development being so vast and glamorous that the developers and their consultants do not need to follow due legal process?

The RNC has lodged its objections with SEF.

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