What are Gated Communities & Street/Road Closures?
A Gated community or a walled-community is usually a residential community or estate with strictly controlled entrances for vehicles and pedestrians, typically bordered by walls or fences. The main purpose of a gated community/street closure is to provide its residents safety by means of removing through traffic.
A town planner needs to be appointed in order to obtain the necessary rights from Council for a gated community in terms of Section 45 of the Rationalisation of Local Government Affairs Act, (Act 10 of 1998).
The following departments and authorities must first consent to the application before the official proses can start and a complete application be lodged with the required application fees according to the required legislation.
- Roads Department and Traffic Engineering,
- Metro Police,
- Councillor of area,
- Council’s Town Planner of area, and
- SAPS approval with crime statistics.
A site inspection needs to be done with the traffic engineer of the Council and discuss the way forward and obtain all their specific requirements for the area to be closed.
The Council may request a traffic study to be conducted, in order to ensure that the stack distances and entrance gates are sufficient to have the minimal effect on road safety and flow on the road(s). This initial process can take approximately 3-4 months.
A written application with full motivating memorandum must be submitted to the Council in the prescribed format and manner which includes inter alia proof of two thirds of the residents (home owners) affected. The owners opposite the proposed boom area must also consent in writing to the application. Description of relevant public places, comprehensive memorandum, proposed mechanisms for access control, site plan, locality plan, traffic study, municipal services and other closed areas in the vicinity etc.
Section 44(c)(i) of the Act also requires that the closing of the street be advertised in the Gauteng Provincial and two newspapers circulating in the area. This can only be done once the Council approves the application and if no objections the application becomes legal.
Once positive comments from all the different internal departments have been obtained, the town planner of the area can compile the town planning report for approval by the Town Planning Committee.
Only when the Council is satisfied that all conditions and prescribed rules are met, will the access restriction be announced in the Gauteng Provincial Gazette. The notice in the Provincial Gazette gives the public then 28 days to comment/object to the application and a hearing will then be arranged by Council to address the objections where after the application comes into operation if the Council support the application for the second time.
Full details are to be provided, as to how the funds will be raised to cover the costs to implement the proposed access control gates (after approval).
A contract will be signed by the Section 21 Company and the Council before implementation.
The traffic engineer of the Council will sign off the plans and approval via way leaves be given that structures be erected on Council property.
It is important to note that the access restriction is valid for no longer than two (2) years where after an application for extension of the duration of the restriction must be lodged with the Council. The time involved from submission of the full application up to approval by the Council can take approximately 8-9 months.
The process after the approval by Council can take 2-3 months in order to arrange for approval of building plans and documents/contracts to be signed before structures can be erected.