It is part of our law that the potential impact of a development on the sense of place of an area must be considered.
In the case of Director: Mineral Development Gauteng Region and another v. Save the Vaal Environment and others 1999 (2) SA 709 (SCA) at 715C, the Supreme Court of Appeals with regard to a proposed mine on a wetland next to the Vaal river, identified as an environmental concern the “…predicted constant noise, light, dust and water pollution resulting from the proposed strip mine will totally destroy the ‘sense of place’ of the wetland and the associated Cloudy Creek. Thus the spiritual, aesthetic and therapeutic qualities associated with this area will also be eliminated.”
This finding by the court established sense of place, as an environmental concern that can be impacted upon by development and that should be considered accordingly.
The EAP failed to consider the impacts – as experienced by tourists – of the activity on the unique sense of place of the Pilanesberg National Park, the Kwa Maritane Lodge and Sun City. Sense of place has an economic value.
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