Building of Gonubie mansion raises ire

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A battle is brewing between wealthy East London residents over a house allegedly being built without proper engineering processes being followed.

The three-storey house in Gonubie’s George Randell Drive overlooking the Gonubie River, where property values are well over R2-million, has left the road with a single lane after a retaining wall collapsed in February, spilling gravel and soil onto the road.

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH: Johan Coetzee, who lives on George Randell Drive in Gonubie, is in the process of building his home but is under scrutiny from neighbours about building regulations. He says he ticks all the boxes and asks residents to be patient Picture: MICHAEL PINYANA

One of the residents who lives opposite the construction site, Neil Hustler, contacted a number of stakeholders to check that all the regulations were in place.

“It is a cause for concern for the neighbourhood because you are not allowed to just build here any way you want. There are regulations that need to be followed.

“I don’t understand why the council does not step in and stop him from building.

“I am not convinced the building inspector knows what is going on there because the wall collapsed spilling heaps of soil onto the road,” Hustler said.

He argued that when he wanted to see the building plans at the National Home Builders’ Registration Council offices, he was told he could not access them.

The frustrated homeowner, Johan Coetzee, admitted to the mess made in the road but explained yesterday that he had sorted the matter out and ticked all the regulation boxes.

“It was a mess, we know that. It happens when you build but we sorted it out. We ran into some trouble with water that was leaking from another property and we even had the municipality out here, which also could not locate the source, but we sorted that out too.

“This gentleman [Hustler] has been making trouble for me ever since we started building here in mid-January. It takes time to build and things will be messy, but we are trying our best,” Coetzee said.

He added that the engineer, Bing Kockott of CDEC Consulting, had worked out a plan.

“This gentleman [Hustler], it seems, can’t wait until we are done, but unfortunately the mess will be there until our building is complete.”

Kockott said they were responsible for the structural engineering only.

“Our company was appointed to be the structural engineers to ensure that the homeowner is compliant from a structural point of view.”

He added Coetzee was not compliant with regulations last month but had since obtained a plan.

“Everything will be compliant from now onwards.”

Attempts to reach Buffalo City Metro for comment were unsuccessful.

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