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Simon's Town Heritage Advisory Committee

Guidelines for the Conservation and Development of the Simon's Town Conservation Area

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Conservation Precincts

The spatial demarcation of the conservation areas within Zone A is illustrated on the accompanying plan. Topography and developmental history were factors in determining the demarcation. This section seeks to identify the overall character of the different precincts in order to formulate conservation objectives for each area. General conservation principles are then identified to provide an overall framework for the evaluation of all new work, alterations and additions within the conservation areas.

RUNCIMAN DRIVE PRECINCT

This area, extending to the urban edge, forms a backdrop to the historic core of the town.

These new townships are where most current development is taking place. The development of road and service infrastructure has denuded these areas of vegetation.

Inappropriately scaled development has occurred in the last fifty years, creating monolithic visual intrusions.

Conservation Objectives

The scale and massing of new development must be strongly controlled.

Extensive landscaping of the streets and open spaces should be undertaken.

STATION PRECINCT

The Victorian station buildings are an important landmark and form a gateway to the Simon’s Town Historical Mile. Inappropriate walling and railway structures have obscured views towards the East Dockyard and Long Beach.

On the mountainside a tightly connected cluster of older Victorian residential buildings in the Cotton Lane area has been encroached on by unsympathetic public works development, railway and naval.

Palace Hill with the Palace Barracks and other historical buildings is of enormous historical significance.

There are many established trees in the area, particularly wild olives.

Conservation Objectives

The station buildings should be protected.

Any new development around the station and to the north must respond to the landmark status of the site both in terms of distant view from Glencairn and Runciman Drive and nearer views approaching the complex.

Any new development around the station should strengthen physical linkage to the beach and contribute to creating usable and memorable public places.

Any development around or involving the Palace Barracks should be subject to a rigorous design process, which examines the site’s development history and cultural significance. Trees in the area should be protected.

ADMIRALTY HOUSE PRECINCT

This area contains some of the oldest buildings in Simon’s Town and is therefore of great historical significance. There is a strong visual link between the mountain and the sea.

Conservation Objectives

Maintain the strong visual link from mountain to sea.

Open spaces and corridors are important elements.

WATERFALL ROAD PRECINCT

There are some isolated buildings of historical significance and vast areas under naval control with large-scale structures, few of any architectural significance other than the old munitions magazine.

Conservation Objectives

Any redevelopment should retain buildings of cultural significance. Strong linking corridors of open spaces should be introduced.

Public access to the waterfall area should be provided possibly through a walkway system.

MOUNT PLEASANT

This area contains a tightly knit complex of Victorian villas, terraces and semi-detached houses. Its largely wind free climate and wonderful views makes it a highly desirable residential area.

There is little vacant land in Mount Pleasant itself but up the valley and in the Admiral’s Kloof township there are vacant erven on extremely steep sites.

Conservation Objectives

The integrity of the historic Victorian neighbourhood must be retained.

Fencing and walling must be strictly controlled.

Housing in the Admiral’s Kloof township must respond sympathetically to the topography if possible.

ST GEORGES STREET PRECINCT (HISTORICAL MILE)

This is the commercial heart of the town. Its Victorian colonnaded shop and residential parade retains its cohesion. On the seaward side the walls of the West Dockyard and the glimpsed views of buildings and sea are important elements. The quay, Jubilee Square, Albertyn’s Stables and other historical buildings on the seaward side of St Georges Street create a special pedestrian environment of delicate human scale and great charm.

Conservation Objectives

Any new development should contribute to the streetscape and visual cohesion of St Georges Street.

No building development should be permitted in the Cole Point area, which would impede views.

The pedestrian environment, with particular emphasis on the historic lanes, must be maintained, should be extended and should contribute to the visual experience.

Street furniture elements and signage must be closely controlled.

GOEDEGIFT PRECINCT

This area is characterized by tightly knit development both historical and new. Large tracts of vacant land, much steeply sloping, and covered with mainly indigenous bush.

Conservation Objectives

As much vegetation as possible should be retained if new development takes place.

New development should be heavily landscaped.

Buildings should respond in scale to historic and existing fabric.

THOMAS STREET PRECINCT

This small precinct of historical buildings is of great cultural significance with the mosque and neighbouring buildings. The townscape of narrow lanes and broader public places is of significance.

Hospital Terrace is a group of buildings of great architectural significance.

Old trees contribute to the character.

Conservation Objectives

Any new buildings must be very carefully controlled Height and bulk must be controlled.

Historic buildings and old trees must be protected.

MUNICIPAL PRECINCT

A series of institutional buildings including the old municipal offices and church buildings fronting St Georges Street with fine sandstone retaining walls and mature trees, notably palms, create a particular character behind this band lies a series of recently built townhouse complexes taking access off Runciman Drive.

Conservation Objectives

New development forming the backdrop to the band of institutional buildings should be carefully designed. Significant amounts of vegetation should be retained and augmented.

Pedestrian routes from Runciman Drive should be created and existing ones maintained.

FOREST HILL PRECINCT

This small precinct contains the fine-grained residential neighbourhood centred on Forest Hill Road that is intersected by Nerina Steps, Flora Steps, Tredree Steps and Clarks Steps. Houses in the precinct mostly date the first half of the 20th century.

The precinct also contains the Old Burial Ground.

Many mature trees unify the precinct.

Conservation Objectives

Any new development should be of the same scale as the existing.

Trees must be preserved.

JACKSON STREET PRECINCT

This is the smallest precinct lying to the east of Runciman Drive. Jackson Street and Belmont Road provide access to a tightly knit group of linked Victorian villas with a distinct visual profile. There are few vacant erven.

Conservation Objectives

The integrity of the streetscape must be protected. The introduction of high boundary walls is discouraged.

The intrusion of garages should be carefully controlled.

Additional floors are not recommended.