Residential buildings to go higher at Seychelles’ reclaimed areas
The building height on the reclaimed land will be higher compared to areas of old Victoria town which restricts height to a maximum of ground floor plus 2 stories and an attic. (Mervyn Marie, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - During his State of the Nation Address, President Danny Faure announced that the government is going to build higher accommodations on Perseverance, which will allow Seychelles to optimize land and increase the number of families that can benefit from such projects.
SNA spoke to two officers at the planning authority to better understand the topic. Terry Biscornet, a consultant at the authority, said that there must be sufficient land to cater to various criteria that need to be met when constructing a high building.
Biscornet said that it will be easier to build higher on reclaimed lands such as on some areas on Ile Perseverance, Roche Caiman waterfront area, and Ile Aurore.
“These areas can be properly developed as we will have to build all the infrastructures from scratch,” said Biscornet.
During constructions, the plot size must cater for a sewerage treatment plant, if connections cannot be made to a central plant.
Among other criteria, requirements of the Department of Transport have to be met in regards to the number of parking needed, pavements and traffic movement.
The proposal must also get the go ahead of the Seychelles Fire and Rescue Services Agency ensuring that they can manage an emergency and must pass the environmental and social impact assessment.
Different levels of assessments are carried out depending on the size of the development.
The building height on reclaimed will be higher compared to areas of old Victoria town which restricts height to a maximum of ground floor plus 2 stories and an attic. This is needed to conserve the historical characters of the area.
“The architectural style also plays a role as the building should integrate well into the surrounding,” said Julie Low, an Urban Planner at the Planning Authority.
Market Street, Church Street, Benezet Street, Francis Rachel Street, Albert Street, and Quincy Street are some of the streets within the “Old Victoria Town Centre”.
Guides for building height for both the inner and greater Victoria can be found in the Victoria Masterplan.
A policy is in place that controls construction on La Digue, Inner Islands and Outer Islands, with the aim of “retaining the architecture and cultural elements that make the islands unique,” said Biscornet.
The planning authority is working on various guidelines for new developments in districts through the land use plans for all districts.
The two officers mentioned that the public are voicing out some concerns when it comes to building higher.
“Concerns being raised are in regards to neighboring plots that have smaller houses where the proprietor have traditionally enjoyed a view will have their view barred. Take note that there is no right to view,” said Biscornet.
Other concerns are the security in residential buildings and the need for lifts, which come with high maintenance cost.
Biscornet affirmed that “height of development is a factor that will help to achieve the required growth distribution” in the country. Talking about constructing underground, he explained that there are no restrictions or limitation in place. It is however a costly engineering feat due the high water table and high amount of granite in Seychelles.