The National Planning and Building Commission for High-Priority Region Housing has approved 1,100 housing units on a 260-dunam (85-acre) site located between Glil Yam, Ramat Hasharon, and the Ayalon Highway, adjacent to Herzliya airport. This number is 300 more than the number previously announced for construction on this land. It is believed that this plan will encounter fewer objections than the plan to build 12,000 homes on the site of the airport itself, because the location is outside the existing city neighborhoods, and there are few residents in the area to object to the plans. Herzliya Mayor Moshe Fadlon previously said that he preferred adding housing units on this site and through urban renewal within the city.
Meanwhile protests continue against the massive construction plan on the 2,160-dunam (5,040-acre) site of Herzliya Airport, which is slated for closure. The Commission previously announced its plan for construction of 12,000 housing units on the site. Public protest erupted in Herzliya against the plan, which will add 30,000 residents to the city, at a conservative estimate, to the current 100,000 residents. The housing cabinet discussed the plan last week.
"Irresponsibility by the High-Priority Housing Commission"
The housing cabinet's plan for construction of 12,000 housing units has also aroused strong opposition from the Herzliya municipality. Commenting recently on the plan, Fadlon said, "Under the current conditions, building 12,000 housing units is unreasonable. The number is beyond all proportion. It will be irresponsible of the High-Priority Housing Commission if the members do not take into account the consequences for infrastructure of this volume of construction, which requires national infrastructure of interchanges, a railway station, electricity, water, etc. There will be no additional construction in the city without appropriate infrastructure, so that every child will have public gardens, access to transportation, and everything necessary in order to maintain a high standard of urban living."
The plan was discussed last week by the housing cabinet, headed by Zeev Bielski. The meeting decided to declare the site a "high-priority" area, but in view of the criticism, the housing cabinet refrained from specifying the number of apartments to be constructed in the project, saying merely, "The number of housing units proposed on the site will be determined during the planning, but will not be less than the legal minimum."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 7, 2019
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