A new plan beginning its way through the planning institutions in recent months is revisiting an idea once widely discussed the construction of an artificial island in the Mediterranean Sea.
The novel plan to tackle Israel's housing shortage is being promoted by the Herzliya municipal engineer and his team, and involves the construction of two artificial islands 1.5 kilometers from the southern coast of Herzliya, opposite the existing marina. NIS 650,000 will be spent on an initial feasibility study.
The Herzliya municipality engineering department has already approached international companies for an estimate of the cost of a project on this scale. "This project will cost billions," the Herzliya municipal engineer said. "It can create new land for the construction of 40,000 housing units. I got in touch with the District Planning and Building Commissions about the idea a year and a half ago, but they didn't accept it. I'm going to present the plan with geological findings and other feasibility studies to the Planning Administration."
It is already clear that many objections will be filed to a plan of this type, if it goes ahead, among other things by environmental organizations. The municipal engineer has an idea about this. "There are many people opposed to the Israel Military Industries Ltd. (IMI) Hasharon plan. The land there has to be decontaminated, which will cost many billions. If the plan for the artificial islands gets going, tens of thousands of housing units can be built on them, and the IMI Park Hasharon area can be left as a park. Decontamination of the site will still cost billions, but maybe it's better to invest those billions in islands, instead of in IMI Hasharon."
Another idea raised as part of the artificial islands plan is moving the civilian airport currently operating in Herzliya there.
Progress has been made in recent months in the Planning Administration in preparation of a policy document for Israel's marine Mediterranean marine area in cooperation with the European Union. This is a direct continuation of the marine area policy plans and documents prepared in the past, such as the 1999 coastal strip plan, the Protection of the Coastal Environment Law (2004), and a policy document formulated in 2007 dealing with artificial islands for infrastructure facilities.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 18, 2015
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