Claus (Mischker, of Headland Planners www.headland.co.za) is already waiting for us outside, afraid that we’re going to miss the entrance or get lost in the big city. Claus is the facilitator of this meeting and felt responsible for us. He has always a smile on his face and endless amount of patience. Inside we meet Judy (Ferdenando, of Lower Piers Road Property Consultants CC), Henri (Comrie, of Comriewilkinson urban designers, http://www.comwilk.co.za/) and Mario (Filippi, of Lyners Engineering, www.lyners.co.za). I didn’t have to ask them twice – they all gladly came to help. I have a sense that they have a special bond to FairValley. These people are so busy. They are involved in so many projects. They actually make their living out of their time and talent. I don’t know many, of their calibre, who would leave everything and report, as they do. This is in a nutshell, what Angeline, Tommy and I spoke about on the way here. Now it was so good to see them. We are not alone.
When we are all ready, we walked back to Chris’ office, only to see him and Tanya chatting now also with David (Delaney, head of Planning & Economic Development Department of the Drakenstein Municipality) and Henk (Strijdom, head of Spatial Planning, at the planning services of Drakenstein Municipality www.drakenstein.gov.za). Can’t even describe what a relief this was to see the two of them there. Surrounded by the best professionals, supported by wonderful people like David and Henk, and been welcomed so nicely by Chris and Tanya, I felt almost like the meeting is not as important any more. We came to see the people, touch them, let them see that we are real as well and maybe just to begin a dialog; a bond perhaps? The same bond we all have with this project? The meeting began with a very positive tone.
Now, while repeating the story to this distinguished audience, I could sense the seriousness and the empathy around the table. From the background I moved on into the description of the decision making process, how we were introduced to the eco-friendly and energy efficient values and technologies, how we found out about sustainable building methods and eventually embraced the Holistic EcoVillage Approach for FairValley.
Chris Rabie concluded his part: “We are not against development, but we have concerns about bulk services in the area, the visual impact of the development and its environmental implications, especially because it is located in the heart of the Wineland. Our ‘GOLD’ is not hidden under the ground,” he emphasized the importance of the natural scenic treasures of the Cape Wineland. ”We do expect not less than a due process to meet all the legal requirements”.