Envision a beach resort development that features the very best of all that KwaZulu-Natal’s North Coast has to offer. A prized spot of land thriving on our doorstep and competing with the likes of international luxury holiday destinations. That is the vision for the soon to be Tinley Town.

Located on KwaZulu-Natal’s northern coastline, just 10km north of the greater Ballito area, 25km north of King Shaka International Airport (KSIA) and 50km north of Durban is where you will find the area called Tinley. It is known for its sugar cane, an estuary and a stretch of beach that sits adjacent to Tinley Manor, a well-known seaside village. For a number of years, Tinley has flown under the radar whilst the surrounding areas have undergone numerous changes and facelifts. Managing Director of Tongaat Hulett Developments, Michael Deighton, recently chatted about the development project, saying “There is still a gap to be filled by a large-scale international resort operator. With essential infrastructure already in place and the potential to improve this concurrently with growth and demand, the region has proven itself as a desired destination and is poised to take on the mantle as the province’s next tourism and property hotspot”.

Plans for the town’s expansion have long been on the table. A beach resort for a major international brand is planned as the anchor for the new node, which will be a catalyst for further developments at Tinley, boasting kilometres of pristine coastline, lagoons, indigenous A key location on KwaZulu-Natal’s primary growth corridor between the ports of Durban and Richards Bay. The resort is said to be the first of its kind in Southern Africa and that Tinley is one of its northern development initiatives that held significant tourism potential. Together with the proposed new coastal resort, it said the new Tinley development node would cater to the international and domestic tourism markets, and also had the capacity for mixed-use development.

It all seems quite simple. The new town is set to be aligned with the provincial government’s Tourism Master Plan and Tinley Town will serve as one of the many iconic key developments throughout KwaZulu-Natal that will capitalise on the province’s unique natural assets and boost its tourism offering. The development’s construction is said to provide an approximate 9 521 permanent jobs and 29 605 temporary construction jobs per annum during the development period.

Given its natural attractions, Tinley Town will offer a world of opportunities on KZN’s North Coast. The new town will be perfectly positioned for a range of residential products, as well as commercial, leisure and retail opportunities. With its neighbour, Ballito, the King Shaka Airport and the N2 highway in close proximity, both domestic and international tourists will find getting around a breeze. Making the North Coast more accessible, the King Shaka International Airport can currently accommodate 7.5 million passengers annually. With the advent of Zimbali Coastal Resort in the late 90s, areas north of Durban including uMhlanga, Ballito and Salt Rock have experienced unprecedented growth in the last three decades with significant return on investment. “With the residential and tourist boom and the commissioning of the King Shaka International Airport and Dube TradePort, other sectorsare now also thriving.

In order to support the influx of people, schools are mushrooming in the region and the commercial aspects continue a strong upward trajectory especially with the emergence of the nearby Durban Aerotropolis. Confirmation that four significant international resort operators have expressed interest in operating a new beach resort on the site. There has been indications that worldrenowned French-owned Club Med is one of the luxury international resort operators that has shown interest is our coastline. The coastal resort component will be incorporated within Tinley North and will include a four- to five-star resort featuring 300 to 350 rooms and 50 villas, complete with leisure facilities. A clubhouse and a multitude of dining and sports facilities will also be available. Whilst the north will be predominantly for residential use, Tinley South will offer residential and other opportunities. These will include retirement elements, as well as a commercial strip and a small, mixed-use town centre.

The entire project will occupy around 1 000 hectares, with an expected development period of 15 to 20 years. Just south of the estuary, an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) has been completed for a 400-hectare parcel of land on which work on the own planning components has already commenced. To the north of Tinley Manor, an EIA is currently underway for the proposed new international beach resort. Although development has begun as a whole,
land development will still proceed on a phased basis for a number of years to come.

The North Coast and KZN as a whole prides itself on the lush greenery that surrounds us, but, with more and more developments springing up, the question of what will happen to our sought-after natural environment is often asked. Thankfully, Tongaat Hulett is wellknown for creating masterpieces that flow with the land instead of intruding upon it and Tiney Town will be no exception. In the same way as the Sibaya Coastal Precinct, the town will be created with the preservation of the surrounding natural environment in mind. A conservation management plan will be implemented which will ensure that the construction and all other development-related matters proceed according to this mandate and so ensure that all the area’s natural assets can be enjoyed by visitors and residents in a sustained manner. Apart from the rehabilitation of sugarcane fields, the maintenance of the existing coastline and indigenous forests will be a top priority and over 50 percent of the area will remain as green open space. All buildings will be “embedded” in the environment rather than imposed upon it. There you have it — yet another step in the right direction. We have so much to give, share and offer here on the North Coast to the world. It’s time for us to increase our strides towards the great future that awaits our soonto be “not so little” coastline.

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