BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) has proposed to repossess part of the Ingutsheni Hospital land to develop residential stands after concerns over swathes of idle land at the mental health institution.
This was revealed by the BCC deputy director of engineering services, Wisdom Siziba while presenting a summary of issues emerging from the local development plan for southern central areas of the city.
BCC has been in the process of preparing the local development plan number 16 which focuses on water infrastructure, sewer, change of use of application, open spaces, traffic issues, road network issues, public transport, educational facilities, health, landscape, police, street furniture and disinfections.
“It was noted that a lot of land is lying idle at Ingutsheni Hospital and a quick browse at the file showed that some land has been taken off from the stand and apportioned for other uses. In total, Ingutsheni stand measures 1 966 842m2, it is proposed that a portion of land measuring 578 721m2 be separated and zoned for residential purposes leaving 1 388 121m2 for the hospital’s future plans,” Siziba said.
“It is on this site that flats and other cluster houses are expected to be accommodated to achieve a wider range of residential mix.”
Ingutsheni mental hospital has various income generating projects meant to fund its day-to-day operations.
The projects include horticulture, a stress management clinic, cattle fattening and a poultry project.
The hospital started a cattle-fattening project some time ago and the land has all along been earmarked for the health institution’s self-help projects.
Siziba also said it was proposed that in the Famona, Ilanda, Malindela, Morningside and Hillcrest suburbs, subdivisions of a minimum size of 1000m2 be permitted where practicable.
“It is also proposed that in Green Hill, Southwold, Montrose and Barham Green, subdivisions of a minimum size of 900m2 be permitted where possible.
“The study area is adequately serviced in terms of commercial facilities with Bradfield, Famona, Malindela and Ilanda covered by the CBD, Bradfield and Zonkizizwe shopping centre,” Siziba said.
“Hillcrest and Malindela are serviced by Hillside Shopping Centre. Montrose and Southwold are serviced by Southwold shopping centre and Barham Green is serviced by Barham Green shopping centre. All suburbs in the study area are serviced by the district shopping centre (Zonkizizwe). It is proposed that all shopping centres in the study area be retained and zoned commercial.”
Siziba noted that it was proposed that service industrial bays be incorporated at BG Shopping Centre, while in light of the ever-growing urban population and shortage of land, it is also proposed that a mixed-use component that integrates residential and commercial uses be encouraged in all shopping centres.
“For inclusivity purposes, it is proposed that all shopping centres accommodate informal trading activities through the provision of trading spaces where there is a potential. It is proposed that the maximum height of suburban commercial shops shall not exceed three floors. Any building erected on any stand shall have adequate parking of vehicles as per the requirements of the local planning authority,” Siziba said.
“It is proposed that office use be encouraged and permitted in the Matopos corridor i.e between 16th and 23rd Avenues also bounded by Angus Rd near Belmont Industry to encourage mixed use. Matopos corridor i.e area bounded by 16th Avenue, Hillside Rd, 23rd Avenue and Matopos should be careful to ensure that the CBD office spaces are not degenerated into white elephants. It is proposed that a portion of the open space bounded by Lancester Avenue and Hampshire Drive be used as an office park and the other portion for art and craft (pottery, bamboo).”
The council’s southern central areas local development plan number 16 16 come at a time when the city has an estimated over 100 000 housing waiting list back log amid indications there is an increasing demand for housing in the city.