REAL estate developer Skanska, which plans to build 23 villas in Bratislava’s Devín district, has conceded to certain requests from residents and local authorities, the SITA newswire wrote.
“We will build three large and two small playgrounds, set up a park and a relaxation zone with benches and lawns, and we will change the first floor in three- and four-storey villas into public amenities,” Magdaléna Dobišová, the company’s spokesperson, announced at a press conference on September 11.
Dobišová said the future occupants of the villas will be responsible for deciding what kind of amenities to build there. Skanska will send the revised construction plan to Ľubica Kolková, Devín’s mayor, by mail, as well as to the local administration and await a response.
“If the discussion still concerns 23 four-storey villas, I’ll reject it,” Mayor Kolková told the SITA newswire.
“For three years we have been demanding that the buildings be no more than two storeys, that the density of the development be reduced, and for the project not to have the character of a housing estate. It is presumptuous of them – they pretend to be making concessions, but they have not changed anything,” said Kolková.
Skanska received permission for the construction in 2005, but Kolková has refused to allow it to go forward.
Instead, she continues to state her belief that the plan will spoil the district’s appeal as a cosy, picturesque village that offers an alternative to the hustle and bustle of the city. She pointed out that the villas will attract 1,000 new residents and 500 cars, but that Skanska’s original plan did not incorporate the need for new infrastructure.
Skanska argues it made several concessions last year.
“We originally planned to cut down 57 old trees, but we cut just 12, plus an old vineyard, for which we gave Devín Sk1.2 million (€39,833) in compensation,” Dobišová specified. "Another concession was the redevelopment of Muránska Street, worth more than Sk324,000 (€10,755). We cleaned the district’s wood-steppes, and we have prepared a project to repair the monument worth Sk80,000 (€2,656)."
The company began building water and sewage systems this July, but could not start on roads or buildings because the mayor has refused to sign the construction licenses.
The district’s residents are supporting the mayor, signing a petition against the construction and holding several protests, the most recent of which took place under Devín Castle where they held a mock funeral for the district.