GeneralThe main reason people are attracted to Nature's Valley is because of the beauty of nature that exists.
The people who live in Nature's Valley understand that we are but visitors in this wonderful creation.
We are the guardians of this wonderful place and want to maintain and preserve it.
May all who visit here be filled with enjoyment and wonder at the beauty of nature.
Understanding that we must preserve
and maintain the natural environment as much as possible influences the design
and construction of the buildings in Nature's Valley.
It is with this in mind that these guidelines have been made available to draw from when designing a new structure or modifying an existing one.
IntroductionIt is surely a priority for each property owner to maintain and improve the environmental integrity of Nature's Valley.
When a house is built or alterations are considered, the conservation of the natural environment of indigenous forest, estuary, fynbos and dune vegetation should be a prime consideration, and every possible effort should be made to minimise any impact on the sensitive ecololgy of the township.
In addition to the built structure itself, care should be taken at planning stage to identify intrusive elements that could influence the surrounding environment. This type of sympathetic approach and the planting of indigenous trees, shrubs, climbers and plants, will play an important role in maintaining the unique character of our Valley Acts and Regulations.
Acts and regulations:
- Before deforestation is undertaken or an erf may be cleared, the owner must obtain a permit in order to comply with the SCA (Sensitive Coastal Areas) Act w.r.t. fynbos and/or the National Forests Act (NFA) w.r.t. protected indigenous trees. The Bitou Municipality Town Planning Department is responsible for the SCA permit (Senior Townplanner 044-501-3000). A permit to comply with the NFA must be obtained from the Area Manager: Indigenous Forest Management, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry in Knysna
(ms Melanie Koen or mr Sass Jeffrey 044-302-6900)
- The municipality requires that all building plans must be submitted to the NVRA for approval prior to submission to the municipaliuty. 5 copies of the plans are required, 4 for the municipality, and 1 for NVRA records.
Our services are free and aimed at assisting you, and your co-operation in curbing illegal building operations will be sincerely appreciated
- All erven, with one or two exceptions, are zoned single residential. This means
that only one dwelling unit with normal outbuildings may be erected thereon,
with the following restrictions: maximum 2 storeys for dwelling, 1 storey for
outbuildings; max. height is 8,5m for main building and 4,5 m for outbuilding respectively.
Max coverage is 40% (50% with outbuildings included) and the maximum bulk factor is 0,70.
- The building line on street front is 6,3m and on all other sides 3,15m. A deviation from the latter will only be considered by the municipality if prior written approval is obtained from the adjacent neighbour(s). Written objections by such neighbour(s) will be regarded as final by the Planning Department of the municipality
- If neighbouring owners should object to the construction of an additional building or other deviations, written representation can be made to the same depart- ment. The municipality will consider the validity of such objections before making a final decision
- SwimmSwimming pools must conform to National Building Regulations as regards disposal of backwash (in all cases) and safety fencing (for an outdoors pool), and therefore require plans as for any other construction
- The builder or painting contractor is responsible for adequate and neat toilet facilities on the building site (one toilet per 16 workers). The public toilets are not available to builders, and most definitely not adjacent erven (as has happened in the past)
- At most two security guards may remain on the building site outside hours
- A non-refundable "pavement deposit" is payable to the municipality by the owner if the sidewalk will be used for storing building material
- Please see to it that all building rubble is removed from the site before the final hand-over
The observance of the following guidelines by new and existing owners will play an important role in maintaining the environmental integrity of Nature's Valley
- All construction should blend with the natural environment as far as possible, by using building materials, finishes and earth colours such as wood or naturally coloured bricks, sand colour for plastered walls and a suitable colour green for roofs
- Avoid fencing as far as possible so that wildlife can continue to roam freely throughout the Valley. If fencing is necessary, limit the extent and impact on the environment by using suitable materials like wood. Avoid wire fencing or pre-cast concrete walls and built walls, plastered or unplastered, at all costs. Fencing on street front must be handled with great circumspection, preferably set back and hidden by indigenous vegetation
- TTake care that security and other outside lights provide sensitive lighting that will not disturb neighbours or wildlife
- Limit the impact of an unsightly driveway by using a sympathetic material like "grasbeton" paving or bricks, and avoid if possible a formal driveway that extends right to the edge of the road.
- High noise levels will disturb neighbouring residents and wildlife.
- Please take the privacy and view of your neighbours into consideration when planning to build or alter an existing building.
In ConclusionIIt would truly be appreciated if you would acquaint your architect and contractor with these guidelines before the start of building, alterations or painting.
You bought a property in Nature's Valley because of its beautiful natural environment, unique and unspoilt character and freedom. Your co-operation will play an important role in helping to maintain the environmental integrity of the Valley
In a nutshell
- Let the building blend into its environment by choosing materials the are complementary to the natural surroundings.
- Design and place your building carefully to avoid cutting down trees (You have to have a permit to cut down trees anyway)
- Take care when enclosing your property with fences and avoid surrounding walls all together.
- Use complementary paving for driveways and walkways.
- Take your neighbour into consideration and avoid blocking his view.
- Building line on roadside 6.3m from boundry
- Building line sides and back 3.15m from boundry
- MMaximum height restriction of main building 8.5m above contour of natural ground level.
- Maximum of 40% coverage of main building and 50% coverage of main + outbuildings/li>
- 70% Bulk factor may not be exceeded
Please remember that by destroying this "Nature reserve" the attraction will disappear and the value of property will drop.
Plan preparation and submission
- Discuss your ideas with the N.V.R.A. before you start with the design.
- Obtain the required municipal submission forms from the N.V.R.A .office.
- Discuss and educate your architect on the Nature's Valley requirements.
- Submit your plans to the N.V.R.A. for scrutiny and approval
(Please supply all your contact details and get a reference number)
- The N.V.R.A. will inform you when your plans can be collected.
- Submit your plans and pay t(Please supply all your contact details and get a reference number)
- The N.V.R.A. will inform you when your plans can be collected from the NVRA office.
- Submit your plans and pay the plan submission fees at Bitou Municipality
Regulatory functions according to the National Forest Act (NFA) (Act no. 84 of 1998):
Forests/ Protected trees DWAF is responsible for all regulatory functions according to the NFA on State Land as well as Non State Land. It is a criminal offence for anyone to cut, disturb, damage or destroy a protected tree or any indigenous, living tree in a natural forest, or remove or receive any such tree, except in terms of a licence, which is issued by the Department under certain conditions. Section 7 of the NFA provides for the prohibition of the destruction of living indigenous trees in any natural forest without a licence. Anyone contravening this prohibition, is guilty of a second category offence, and can be sentenced to up to 2 years imprisonment, or a fine, or both.
This provision is a significant addition to conservation legislation, in that, for the first time in the history of forest law, not only State indigenous forests are protected, but now also all indigenous forests on private land, communal land and any public land.
All types of indigenous forests occurring in this area are included, also coastal scrub forest.
Protected trees like Stinkwood, Yellowwood and Milkwood, are protected under Section 15 of the NFA and provides for the prohibition of the destruction of these trees without a licence. Anyone contravening this prohibition, is guilty of a first category offence, and can be sentenced to up to 3 years imprisonment, or a fine, or both.
Applications for a licence can be made or contraventions reported to the Forestry Office in Knysna.