Stanford’s proposed new look
Stanford has a unique look and feel, and there is general consensus that we should try and maintain this small-town village atmosphere which is threatened by unsympathetic town planning regulations. Much has already changed because of randomly placed engineering requirements such as electricity boxes, street signs etc. Unlike some Overstrand towns we really want to keep our charm and atmosphere.
Stanford Conservation, Stanford Tourism and Stanford Ratepayer’s Association decided during 2013 to join hands in a Stanford Revitalisation Initiative, commissioning well-known landscape architect and Stanford resident Bernard Oberholzer to draw up a plan on how we could sensitively marry town planning requirements with the village’s heritage character.
The result of Bernard’s initial work is a proposal for the Queen Victoria Street precinct which can be downloaded here: Part One Part Two. The basic concept is to create four landscaped village squares which are multi-functional and could be used for parking during the day and, for example, sidewalk restaurants at night. Landscaping of the squares will also automatically slow down traffic. A presentation was made to the Overstrand Municipality in September 2013, following which the concepts are now incorporated in their master planning.
Included in this precinct plan is a proposal for the entrance to Queen Victoria Street from the R43/R326. This intersection will be upgraded by the Provincial Roads Department as part of the larger project to widen the road between Stanford and Hermanus. The entrance proposal has been forwarded to the Department as part of Stanford Conservation’s comment on the Final Basic Assessment Report completed in June 2014.
OTHER REJUVENATION PLANS
The concept behind the rejuvenation plans is not only to improve the main road (Queen Victoria Street), but to provide a better ‘sense of place’ to a number of Stanford areas. Bernard Oberholzer has therefore also been commissioned to draw up the following precinct plans:
• Market square (village green) and adjacent roads: This is long needed as the dust problem on the roads in summer, and the drainage problems of the village green in winter, need urgent attention. The one can, unfortunately, not be done without the other. In addition, a solution has to be found for the additional parking requirements to be made available without defacing the 3A heritage graded (i.e. local significance) village green, and the 2B graded (provincial significance) St Thomas’ Anglican Church.
During the second half of 2015 the municipality approached Stanford Conservation for their input for the revitalisation of the village green and the rehabilitation of the adjoining sections of Longmarket and Shortmarket Streets. Bernard Oberholzer once again drafted a Village Green precinct proposal, which was presented to the municipality and essentially consists of the following components:
- A paved sidewalk (taking into account the ‘leiwater’ adjacent to the houses on both sides of the village green);
- Parking on the village green side (either parallel or angled);
- A natural pathway between the parking and the village green.
Some options have been proposed to accommodate these improvements – particularly the choice between and a one or two-way vehicular system around the Village Green. The options can be viewed HERE (8MB Download)
• Stanford’s water courses: Compared to the rest of the Overstrand, Stanford sadly lacks facilities for tourists, especially along the river. A survey of needs conducted in 2011 identified various required facilities and they have been incorporated into another precinct plan that formed the basis of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) recently completed for tourism facilities within the 32-metre riparian zone. Funds have been requested in the municipal 2015/16 financial year budget for some facilities to be built. These include a floating jetty for the 3 tour operating boats (mainly bird-watching), an upgrade of the slipway, a guard house and canoe storage and toilet facilities at the boom, and a stepped ramp for canoeists and swimmers to easily access the river.
• Bezuidenhout Street community area: There is a huge need for a better sense of place at the existing community centre, as well as to upgrade the road/pedestrian facilities between Mathilda May and De Bruyn Streets. No funds are available for the tarring of this section, but a sidewalk was recently completed with funds obtained via the Overstrand Greenest Town award in 2011 and 2012. Once again a draft precinct plan formed the base of how and where the sidewalk was placed and future improvements will be constructed.