What made you fall in love with Lady Grey? Was it the Mountains or perhaps the peace and tranquility? What about the friendly people? Did you notice that they greet you even if they do not know you? What about the wide streets, many trees, lovely old houses and large yards?
Allow me to assist you as you will not be able to point out a specific feature. It is a combination of features that play together in harmony as in an orchestra. Together it creates the magic that you feel. Unfortunately many of the prospective residents who want to be part of it do not understand it and join the orchestra with false instruments.
In the first place they purchase large properties in order to sub-divide and speculate because the MONEY rush is so very important to them. Then they have plans drawn up for city type mansions or houses that do not fit in with the rest of Lady Grey. They create exactly what they are trying to get away from… a little Johannesburg…
Lady Grey is extremely limited as far as property is concerned. Three sides of town are surrounded by mountains and the other side is limited by the township and golf course. The number of erven is limited. If you were one of the lucky ones who could obtain an erf or a house, THINK before you sub-divide, build or renovate and do not spoil it for all.
Within the community a lot of noise is being made about the new houses that do not fit in. Unfortunately Lady Grey does not have a Ratepayers Association or Esthetics Committee yet but we hope to have it in place soon. In the meantime allow me to suggest some guidelines.
Historically all houses were built to face the DR Church. If possible, your house should face the DR Church.
Do with the inside of our house what you like but let the outside fit in with the old houses in Lady Grey.
Never use face brick on the outside — plaster your house or use sandstone.
Never obstruct your neighbor’s view of the mountain and be extra careful if your must have a double storey.
Make a study of old photographs and old houses in Lady Grey, Barkly East, Aliwal North and Rhodes before you draw up your plans. Take note of house shapes, facades, verandas, stoeps, windows, doors, chimneys, fireplaces and finishing touches like wrought iron and broekies lace. Also take note of fencing and roofs.
Vibacrete and palisades are modern and should not be used. Rather secure your house from the inside with burglar bars and alarms.
Give your house a name— it adds to the charm.
If you have an old house, get to know it’s history and name (if it had one) and restore it with love. Keep the outside as authentic as possible.
Very strict regulations apply to the building of houses in Rhodes. You do not have to comply but it is a good idea to have a look and shape your ideas around it.
Look at the building control regulations of SENQU Municipality which you have to comply with. It can be found on the official web-site of SENQU Municipality under Documents then By-Laws. Also familiarize yourself with the other By-Laws.