The history of shipping has proven it over and over – lighthouses don't move location – you move your position.
The developer of the ten-storey "Sur la Plage" development to be located at the site of the old swimming pool in Swakopmund is now facing this reality too. Whilst the initial building design was not approved by the Swakopmund Aesthetics Committee, the Namibia Ports Authority (NamPort) has now also stepped in, as the current building design will obstruct the beam of the Swakopmund Lighthouse.
"Namport is currently in discussions with the Swakopmund mu-nicipality regarding this matter", confirmed Elzevir Gelderbloem, Executive: Port Aut-hority, to namib times. Gelderbloem explained Namport by law is the custodian of all lighthouses in Namibia (Namibia Ports Authority Act 2 of 1994). The Swakopmund Municipality also has the interests of the lighthouse at heart", he said as this is a very popular landmark.
The latest design for the "Sur la Plage" development, to be located on Erf 4747 at the site of the old Swakopmund municipal swimming pool, was presented to the public at the end of 2017.
The main ten-storey building will feature apartments, catering for various aspects of the market. There will be one-bedroom studio apartments, apartments slightly bigger and penthouse apartments located on the top floor.
Located on the eastern side of the main building will be another building. The South Block will include a hotel component and more apartments.
Since the announcement of the first high-rise building for Swakopmund was made, the developer Jimney Construction has received strong opposition from the Swakopmund public. A petition to stop the high-rise building gathered 2150 signatures and was handed to Town Council at the beginning of December last year.
"The Swakopmund lighthouse, as well as our other two lighthouses and our various other "Aid to Navigation" along our coastline still serve a crucial role in the safety of vessels at sea off the Namibian coast.
Electronic navigation, which includes GPS, radar, radio, etc., does not replace the need for "Visual Aids to Navigation" such as lights and day marks. These two aspects of navigation complement each other", Gelderbloem continued.
?There are no plans to move the Swakopmund lighthouse. This is the first time in Namibia's history that NamPort has been confronted with such a predicament, Gelderbloem indicated