AllyCAD Showcase

Town & Regional Planning

Nel & de Kock Town Planners, George

"People don't come to Nel & de Kock Town and Regional Planners because we are the cheapest, they come to us because we have a proven track record. When you go to a doctor to have an operation done, you don't go to the cheapest doctor you go to the practitioner that can do the job. It's the same principal," says Deon Nel, Managing Director of Nel & de Kock Town and Regional Planners in George.

Deon's passion lies in Town Planning. After graduating at the University of Stellenbosch, he started his Town Planning career in 1977 working for the Western Cape Provincial Administration. In 1981 he moved to George to start the Municipal Planning Office. Back then people did not even know what a Town Planner was. He fondly recalls how true the saying was: "in the beginning there was nothing," because he literally started the George municipality's office from scratch and gained invaluable insight into the business.

After an exciting four year journey at the Municipality, Deon started his own private consultancy practice in Town and Regional Planning in George. "We recently celebrated our coming of age when the company turned 21 and we're proud of the reputation that we've built. As an ex-official now practising for many years I would like to think that I am well acquainted with the do's and don'ts of the profession. Being a long time resident in the area I have a vested interest in the town's development and regard it as a personal responsibility to apply sound town planning principles in all our dealings."

Nel & de Kock Town & Regional Planners are users of AllyCAD and have used the program extensively in all their assignments. One of the projects that Deon is currently working on is the Le Grande Golf Estate. The R550 million estate is a new development located just outside of George and is situated next to the Gwayang River mouth with spectacular sea and mountain views. Nel worked closely with world renowned golfer, Greg Norman who designed the golf course.

"I knew from the onset that this would be an ambitious project and took three days to think about it before committing to the planning for the venture. After asking a series of questions, I found that the project was however sound on all counts. I considered all possible planning and biophysical issues followed by an investigation of the social upliftment benefit to the community. I must say, I was excited about the long term advantages that would be of particular benefit to the Pacaltsdorp community," notes Deon.
  According to Deon, Pacaltsdorp as a dormitory town and former autonomous local authority of the previous political dispensation did not enjoy the necessary growth benefits. With the proposed Le Grande Golf course, the area of Pacaltsdorp would now become the new 'gateway' to the development, as the road to the Gwayang River mouth passes the Golf course. This would help generate much needed revenue and create vital jobs for residents.

With an assignment of this magnitude the obstacles and challenges were however numerous. "The development of the Pacaltsdorp area is something that I feel quite strongly about as the community is dear to me. Getting the community to buy into the concept was therefore of vital importance and I had long meetings with various community leaders on the subject. I don't like planning for a community if I can't plan with a community. This road is probably harder to follow but I believe it yields the best long term results."

"The long walk with the community was followed by meetings with various authorities. Here we presented the plans that were drafted in AllyCAD to the municipality. The great thing about working in AllyCAD is that it saves so much time and can handle bitmaps and large volumes of data with ease. These plans were also made available to the environmental consultant planner who did the scoping assessment. We also prepared the final material for the Structure Plan amendment, rezoning and subdivision," he says adding that an R.O.D. has recently been issued for the development.

But what is it about Town Planning in particular that Deon Nel finds so rewarding? "With Town Planning I can be part of a process that can add value to an area and the community living there. Anyone can draw lines and call it a layout, but the trick is to create a functional and cost effective product that will benefit both the client and the community. The Le Grande Golf course development is one such project that will create a lasting impact on the region and in particular the community of Pacaltsdorp. It's projects like these that make me feel really good about my profession," says Deon in closing.

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