Minister: Offices could replace controversial football training hall

Minister for Public Administration Jaak Aab (Center).
Minister for Public Administration Jaak Aab (Center). Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Public administration minister Jaak Aab (Center) says that a compromise can be met over a controversial planning application to build an indoor training hall for top-flight Tallinn football team Levadia, on a plot adjacent to the Memorial to the Victims of Communism. An administrative building, rather than a training facility, could be built instead, Aab said.

Aab told ERR that: "The City of Tallinn has agreed to allocate land where a football training hall can be built in the same area. But the state has to think about it. For Levadia it is definitely more expensive to build in two locations

"If the Ministry of Justice, which represents public interest and interest groups, also wants to find a compromise, then the government must try to resolve that. This means an amendment to the agreement with the parties – the owner, the RKAS and Levadia.

"There will be another building, but this will be an administrative building," added Aab.

A proposed solution for an office building had already been raised last October.

The issue also relates to the fact that while the land is administered by state real estate agency the RKAS, the plans for the training hall were approved by Tallinn city government.

The city government approved a detailed plan in June which would permit Levadia to erect a training hall close by the Memorial to the Victims of Communism, in Maarjmäe, east of the city center. The memorial was opened in 2018.

The project met with pushback as soon as it was announced, as noise from football training sessions and related comings and goings were seen as inappropriate for the location and the memorial, abut 40 meters from the planned training hall, and which commemorates over 20,000 people slaughtered during the various waves of Red Terror experienced during Estonia's occupation by the Soviet Union, starting in 1940.

In July, justice minister Maris Lauri (Reform) asked Aab to oversee the annulment of the detailed plan initiated by the city government; Aab said that legally he didn't have the leeway to do that and negotiations were the way to go.

The site is owned by the RKAS, for which Aab as public administration minister is responsible.

FCI Levadia plays in the Meistriliiga, and won the main domestic trophy, the Tipner Cup, in May.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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