Following on the heels of the launch of numerous new residential and
golf estate developments along the southern coast of South Africa, MWB
Group plc, a leading hospitality and property group listed in London,
has announced plans for the development of yet another major residential
and golf estate - this time a 1.5 billion rand project on the farm Hanglip
to the east of Plettenberg Bay.
The development, with an ultimate value of about 1.5 billion rand, represents
one of the biggest foreign property investments yet in the Southern
Cape. MWB, which owns the prestigious hotel chains Malmaison and Hotel
du Vin, was chosen as Britain's property company of the year in 2000,
while every year subsequently the company has been voted Britain's best
Richard Balfour-Lynn, one of the founders and controlling shareholders
of MWB Group, said he was shown the 1,100-hectare site about a year
ago when visiting South Africa to give the keynote address at an international
property symposium in Johannesburg.
"Following our acquisition of the Hanglip property, we appointed
a team of local experts to research the very best and most responsible
use of the land within a development framework. They looked specifically
at the potential impact of such a venture on the environment and the
community as well as on the area's existing infrastructure and resources.
"We are planning a model development that will set new standards
in design, environmental concern, resource management and benefits for
In addition to some 700 stands grouped in a series of residential nodes,
the low-density development on Hanglip will include an 18-hole golf
course and clubhouse, a five-star hotel and an equestrian centre. The
clubhouse and other amenities will all be open to the public.
Surrounded by deep ravines, the site is located mostly on the coastal
plateau overlooking the sea. It is bordered on one side by the Bitou
River and on the other by the Keurbooms River. Most of the land is covered
in valley thicket and mountain fynbos while on the plateau, grassland
pasture for cattle farming has replaced the indigenous vegetation of
the previous century. About 16% of the site will be taken up by the
residential nodes and the golf course, with both located within the
existing grassland area.
"Should approval be granted, we will implement a major rehabilitation
programme of the wetland areas along the Bitou River, restore 268 hectares
of degraded land on the plateau to fynbos and fund the eradication of
invasive alien vegetation in the catchment areas of the Bitou and Keurbooms
rivers outside the borders of our property," said Balfour-Lynn,
who is presently building a family home in Plettenberg Bay.
Application for approval of the Hanglip project is being made in the
name of True Motives 46 (Pty) Ltd, the company established in South
Africa as the vehicle for the development. The shareholders of True
Motives 46 are the controlling shareholders of Marylebone Warwick Balfour
Group plc (MWB Group).
MWB Management (Pty) Ltd has been appointed development managers.