Thesen Islands historically housed a timber treatment facility which commenced operation in 1922. Barloworld purchased the facility in the 1980’s and operated it until the eventual closure. Following closure, redevelopment of the island into a luxury housing estate was proposed. Approval for the redevelopment was granted in 1998 provided that the land was remediated in line with a Department of Water Affairs (now Department of Water and Sanitation) Section 19 Directive and approved remediation plan.
On completion of remedial works, the majority of the site was considered fit for residential land use and sub-divided into plots that were sold to private owners. The most heavily contaminated areas were excluded from the residential development so that the remedial works could be managed on an on-going basis, limiting any potential future risk. These areas are divided into a Core Contaminated Zone (CCZ) and the Peripheral Contaminated Zone (PCZ) and are contained within a central Parkland area.
The central Parkland remains within the ownership of Barloworld and is managed through a Stewardship Agreement between the Thesen Island Parkland Trust (TIPT) and the Thesen Island Home Owners Association (TIHOA). Under the terms of the Stewardship Agreement the property is available to the HOA for use as private parkland by members of the Association and their invitees.
Over the past decade, there has been a requirement for ad-hoc maintenance and repair work, such as pipe or infrastructure upgrades in the Parkland area. Additionally, to uplift this area the HOA have completed infrastructure and landscaping projects including establishing a fenced a dog park, a maze, orchards, children’s playground, outdoor gym and freshwater ponds.
The Thesen Islands nursery which is situated behind the tennis courts is where the majority of the plant life of the marina is propagated. The nursery is managed under contract by a resident Landscape and Maintenance contractor. Mostly indigenous and waterwise trees, bushes, flowers and succulents are bred here. Different species are raised for different seasons and specific places, for display, decoration or in safety barriers and berms.