Planned football hall near communism victims memorial scrapped

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

Plans for a controversial football training hall next to a victims of communism memorial in Tallinn have been shelved.

The project, which would house training for top-flight football team Levadia, had met with opposition, due to its proximity to the Memorial to the Victims of Communism in Maarjamäe, near Pirita and west of Tallinn city center, itself only opened in 2018.

Both the planned building's profile and effect on the memorial's landscaping, as well as potential noise when training sessions were taking place, had been a cause for concern.

The issue had been clouded by the Tallinn City Government saying a decision was not its responsibility, since the land in question is owned by state real estate company Riigi Kinnisvara AS (RKAS). The RKAS supported the project, while opponents included justice minister Raivo Aeg (Isamaa), with Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab (Center) playing the peacemaker.

While Levadia will still have a building on the site, it will serve as a sports pavilion rather than an actual training facility.

Jaak Aab told ERR Friday that pressing on with the original plan for a training hall would have necessitated a legal battle, which no party had the stomach for.

"We agreed yesterday (Thursday – ed.) that the developer (Levadia – ed.) will build a clubhouse with changing rooms and cloakrooms for players and youth players," Aab said.

The facility will also alleviate congestion in existing changing rooms, he added.

As to potential locations of the planned training hall, Aab mentioned a site close to the nearby Internal Defense Academy (Sisekaitseakadeemia), though the project's architect, Margit Mutso, told ERR that while the compromise seemed to suit all parties, no final agreement had been reached yet.

Mutso added that while she understood concerns, these were not necessarily viable in a built-up area.

"It is clearly better when any such masterpiece, monument is surrounded by open space. That said, a city is a city, so providing several hundred meters' empty space around it (the monument – ed.) is pretty hard to achieve."

The building that is going ahead is just one component of the orginal plan, and will be built alone, to a height of about 11 meters, and wil lnot interfere with the landscaping of the memorial – in fact the buildign will not be visible from the memorial, she said.

Mutso had earlier said that soundproofing in the building would have been such that noise from training sessions would not have been audible from the site, given that it is situated meters from Pirita tee, a major city thoroughfare linking Tallinn to the Pirita and Viimsi commuter belt.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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