Bahrain mulls 50-storey skyscrapers on coast
Manama, September 1, 2012
Skyscrapers up to 50 storeys tall could be lining the shores of the Seef area in Bahrain if a new zoning plan gets the green light, said a top official.
The Manama Municipal Council wants to reserve coastal land in the area for towering commercial and residential developments.
It wants to reduce the impact of such developments on residential neighbourhoods further inland.
Councillors fear that growing urbanisation could cause traffic congestion and spark complaints from people already living there about their privacy being invaded.
They want to impose new limits on the height of buildings, which will gradually rise in height the closer they are to the shore.
The council will now work with the Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry to come up with a five-year plan for the area, where people living in houses have already complained about tower blocks springing up next door.
"There could be a long-term solution to organise investments and heights of buildings in the Seef District that satisfies everyone's expectations," said council vice-chairman and area councillor Mohammed Mansoor.
"We can't stop investors from building their projects and at the same time we can't force investments on residents who have lived there way before it became an attractive hub."
He gave examples of family homes being dwarfed by multi-storey developments without proper planning.
"Today we see three houses and 10 multi-storey buildings - one with a height of 15 storeys, another 10 storeys and some 20," said Mr Mansoor.
"Then we see government buildings that are three storeys scattered in between, which makes the place ugly."
He said the plan was to organise Seef District while still allowing investors who purchased land to go ahead with developments.
"We have to clarify something and that's the council's acknowledgment that plots in the district are not cheap and have been bought for millions of dinars," explained Mr Mansoor.
"For this we are looking at plans to introduce the gradual volume rise system that starts nearby homes and goes up to the sea.
"It will mean that plots nearby homes could be developed beginning with six-storey buildings and ending with 50-storey buildings as you approach the sea." – TradeArabia News Service