The Core rezoning conundrum

Residents’ association, Sunninghill Community, has objected to The Core’s rezoning to include places of amusement, in spite of assurances from owner RFC Development that new business activities in the centre will stretch to nothing more risqué than restaurants offering live music.

“We are working with Sunninghill Community, and we are not using ‘places of amusement’ to its fullest extent,” said Jacquie Meyer, MD of RFC Development. “We have agreed to a reduced scope of rights.”

Meyer insisted that RFC Development, like the community, does not want to see The Core populated by places of adult entertainment, casinos, or night clubs – all of which fall under ‘places of amusement’, defined as locations ‘designed and used for recreational purposes in order to make a profit’.

However, Sunninghill residents remain uneasy.

“The definition of ‘places of amusement’ is very broad and open-ended,” said Rob Kimmings, GM of Sunninghill Community.

“The fact that the Core Centre is prepared to amend the wording for application purposes does not alter the definition according to the Johannesburg City Council.”

Residents fear the rezoning may, in the long term, open the way for nightclubs and places of adult entertainment to move into the centre, and worry that such changes will compromise security and signal higher crime rates in Sunninghill.

“We are not in any way against this application but… we have an obligation to the residents of Sunninghill… to make them aware of this situation and [give them] the opportunity to raise any objections,” Kimmings stressed.

Mutually beneficial developments for The Core and its surrounds may yet be possible, with constructive communication between the centre and residents, such as Sunninghill Community’s offer to survey the preferences of residents and businesses, to discover which ventures they would support at the centre.

“We are also aware of the need for this shopping centre to be successful and we share that wish,” said Kimmings.

Read our previous story on this issue here:

Core centre to be rezoned

Laura Byrne

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