Simon's Town Heritage Advisory Committee
Guidelines for the Conservation and Development of the Simon's Town Conservation Area
The design framework has been described in the previous section. In this section more detailed guidelines on building are given. These guidelines are concerned with creating good contemporary design complimentary to the character of Simon's Town and not poor imitations of past styles, an approach that must be avoided.
The physical environment and climate has played a major role in shaping buildings in the conservation area.
Small scale rectangular, articulated forms are appropriate. Therefore if a large house is planned it should be made up of several smaller elements aligned with each other. On steep slopes these small elements should be stepped down the site.
Houses built on stilts are not permitted. Houses on excessively wide or high platform structures are not permitted. The use of masonry or stone plinths at the base of buildings ‘grounds’ the building visually and architecturally and is the correct approach.
Stepping buildings with cut and fill results in buildings with floor levels close to natural ground levels. This assists with breaking up the mass and visual impact of the building.
The orientation and siting of new buildings should reflect those in the immediate vicinity of the property and the streetscape.
Stilts are inappropriate
Excessively high platform
Appropriate handling of slope
Geology & Topography
Most of the area consists of very thin topsoil on decomposing granite or clay. This makes building and landscaping difficult. A geotechnical investigation and report on foundations for all sites within the conservation area is required.
Site in most precincts of the conservation area are generally sloping, some very steeply. The traditional response to this has been to create small terraces by means of cut and fill and the use of retaining walls mainly built of stone. New buildings should follow this tradition.
Erf shape & size
The contours must be considered in subdivisions. No Erf should be less than 12m wide.
The size of the Erf will depend on many factors. The most important of which, is the relationship in size to surrounding development. It is important to ensure that the texture or grain of new development is consistent with older development in the conservation area. Submission of the maximum building envelope will be required, with contour lines at 1/2m intervals.
Building Lines & Edges
Departures from the Zoning Scheme Regulations may be required so that new buildings or alterations will be appropriate in conforming to existing historic urban patterns.
The building lines as prescribed in the Zoning Scheme Regulations are applicable. Applications for departures must be fully motivated.
Very little of the original indigenous vegetation remains due to the extensive planting of gums in the past. There are also non-invasive exotic trees of historical and visual significance. These must be retained. (Refer to the Simon's Town Tree List).
There is considerable variation within the conservation area, Mount Pleasant for example, is largely unaffected by the prevailing South-Easter, while properties at the southern end of the conservation area are exposed to sometimes gale force conditions. Careful consideration should be given to placing the elements of the new building to provide wind shelter.