Posted on the 5th May 2011

Landowner gets three days to explain land stripping decision
The landowner who ploughed up vegetation on the south-eastern banks of the Langebaan Lagoon last week has been given three days to justify why he believed he had the right to strip the land, says a Cape Times report. If the provincial authorities are not convinced he has a legal case, he will have to put right what he has destroyed. Earlier this month, the provincial Department of Environment Affairs and Development Planning turned down the Shark Bay development application, which would build 109 luxury houses on critically endangered vegetation at Klein Oostewal, bordering the West Coast National Park. Then last week, landowner Riccardo Scarpellini set about having 700m² of vegetation cleared on the Shark Bay site in order to build two houses. He maintains he was entitled to do so, as the current agricultural zoning of the land allows the landowner to build two dwellings without doing an environmental impact assessment. The Cape Argus notes that Scarpellini said that if he did not win the appeal for the big development, he and the other shareholders would still build the house and labourer’s cottage for use as a holiday home. A couple of years ago he offered to sell the land back to the community for the same amount he bought it – R18m – and ‘this offer plus interest still stands’

Carolyn Ah Shene-Verdoorn



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