Harfield Village Planning & Heritage
Why We’re Here
The Group Areas Act of the Apartheid government resulted in forced removals and a breaking of Harfield Village. Over time, Harfield has grown to more closely resemble it’s past in that residents from all walks of life are welcome and call Harfield their home.
A strong community spirit has once again developed with great local businesses, restaurants, amenities and parks adding to the tapestry.
The era that seeded Harfield and the journey the Village has since taken resulted in a character, architecture and environment that works wonderfully well together and harks back to an earlier time.
It was within the context of protecting and understanding this history and heritage that the subcommittee was established. There was a realisation that without guidance for residents through the planning process and with the threat of new developments through the property boom, the fabric of what makes Harfield great could disappear
While the architecture and spaces within Harfield Village defines our environment, it is the residents, both current and former, that defines our soul. The HVA Heritage and Planning Subcommittee is dedicated to identify, conserve and protect these enduring character traits of Harfield Village
The immediate commitment of the HVA Heritage and Planning Subcommittee is to identify, conserve, and protect the intrinsic historic character of the architecture of Harfield Village.
We acknowledge that Cape Town is a growing city in a unique, limited geographical setting that makes densification an inevitable reality for its citizens. We do however believe that densifying should be reasonable, sustainable and evaluated within the context of physical and infrastructural constraints, impacts on the community, and character of the existing buildings.
We have worked hard to prevent developments that detract from the unique aesthetic feel of Harfield, it is ultimately up to the community as a whole to get involved in this process. This means that residents should themselves be aware of the bylaws that exist to preserve the architectural heritage as something to be enjoyed by the public – for example the bylaw against tall walls that hide cottages with historic significance. In addition, it is up to residents to alert the HVA of any building or demolition works that seem suspect – quite often the Council does not alert the HVA if there are no departures that developers need to get approved.
For more information on modifications and development of buildings in the HVA area, please go here [insert link to heritage and planning resource page].
As much as architecture can define a community environment, it is the residents, both current and former, that define its soul. Furthermore, as an area whose former residents suffered forced removal under Apartheid, the HVA works to right these historical injustices. This potentially includes fighting for low-cost housing reserved for the original residents who were removed from the area, or their descendants that still find themselves in grim socio-economic conditions.
The HVA makes it part of its mission to document the records and stories of Harfielders who have passed through the area over the years. This is a work in progress, and you can read more about the history here.
Critical Focus Areas
Creating a Heritage Protection Overlay Zone (HPOZ)
A Heritage Protection Overlay Zone will extend over the full area of Harfield from Imam Haron to Kenilworth Road meaning that the heritage and built environment of Harfield will have better protection
Supporting the community in smoothly making and submitting planning applications, in line with heritage and planning provisions, and providing commentary where necessary.
Protecting areas of historical importance within the Village while also understanding and documenting the history of Harfield.
Streetscape and Environment
Harfield’s environment is made up of the spaces, streets, building styles and the way they engage. Our aim is to work with various stakeholders and residents to maintain and improve this