Minister green-lights football hall near victims of communism memorial

Artist's impression of the planned training hall, upper building in the picture. The existing memorial in Maarjamäe is in the center.
Artist's impression of the planned training hall, upper building in the picture. The existing memorial in Maarjamäe is in the center. Source: Eek & Mutso

Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab (Center) has given the go-ahead for an indoor football training hall in Maarjamäe in Tallinn. The plans had met controversy since the facility will be right next to the Memorial to the victims of Communism.

Aab found that the preparation of the plan had not violated anyone's rights. The plans actually predated the memorial, which was unveiled in 2018.

As reported by ERR News, justice minister Raivo Aeg (Isamaa) opposed the plans as inappropriate in being so close to the memorial, both in terms of the hall's skyline profile, and potential noise levels.

Other opponents included historical memory societies and local residents.

The hall is likely to be used by top-flight team Levadia, who have trained in another facility in Maarjamäe for over a decade.

State real estate company Riigi Kinnisvara AS (RKAS), which owns the plot, however, found the development to be viable.

"In the opinion of the supervisor (i.e. the minister - ed.), The local government has fulfilled the obligation of consideration and explanation provided for by law, and has put forward sufficient reasons to choose such a planning solution," Aabi stated in a letter to Tallinn mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Center).

Aab also noted that when the procurement round for the memorial took place in 2015, plans for the football hall were already known about, having been started the year before.

"It is not clear why the ongoing [football hall] procedure has been ignored during the planning of the memorial and a position has been taken regarding the unsuitability of the planning solution [now], instead of taking into account the [football hall] detailed plan prepared during the development of the memorial," Aab ​​continued, noting the hall's detailed plan fell under local government competence and that Tallinn City's panning board had considered these objections and appended them to the football facility's detailed plan.

He also wrote that those who oppose the plans can either recourse to the first-tier administrative court, or attempt an out-of-court agreement.

Tallinn deputy mayor Andrei Novikov (Center) informed the RKAS that the detailed plan is to proceed.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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