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Ecologically minded villas to be built in Seychelles' Grand Bois

Victoria, Seychelles | October 23, 2017, Monday @ 15:43 in National » GENERAL | By: April Amesbury Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 2719
Ecologically minded villas to be built in Seychelles' Grand Bois

The master plan was developed by UAE Village and the planning of the ecologically-minded project is being undertaken by VIDA (Julie Low/Youtube) Video License: Standard Youtube License

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(Seychelles News Agency) - Construction of a low-impact community deep in the Seychelles’ mountainous forests of Grand Bois, on the western side of the main island, Mahe, is set to commence late next year.  

The master plan was developed by UAE Village and the planning of the ecologically-minded project is being undertaken by VIDA, an internationally recognised company from Costa Rica. 

A meeting with the public as part of the scoping exercise for the Environment Impact Assessment was held on Saturday for the multi-phase project due to start in late 2018 until 2023.

The project manager, Jamal Al Ghurair Est, said the village will include four styles of villas in various sizes between 150 to 1,300 square metres.

“They will not be visible from the sea as they will be designed to blend into nature. At the end of all construction phases the residence will be able to accommodate 500 to 600 people including staff,” added Al Ghurair.

(Julie Low/Youtube) Video License: Standard Youtube License

The project manager said some of the residences will have owners while others will be rented out and that “all villas are designed for a short-term stay of around a week only.”

The low impact village will be constructed on a privately-owned land of 1.8 million square metres, out of which only 6 percent is being used for the project while 94 percent will be given back to nature.

The project has been downsized because of its close proximity to the Caiman River, a major water source. The construction will now be 150 metres away from the river and 75 metres away from the only other water source in the region. The recommended proximity to a water source set by the Seychelles government is 25 to 30 metres. 

The chief executive of Eco-Sol Consulting, an environmental consultancy firm in Seychelles, Nimhan Senaratne, said, that the first master plan was way too big.

The low impact village will be constructed on a privately-owned land of 1.8 million square metres, out of which only 6 percent is being used for the project while 94 percent will be given back to nature. (Julie Low/Youtube) Video License: Standard Youtube License

He added that the current project will encourage eco-tourism and “most importantly the residences will be low impact and sustainability conscious houses.”

Among the low-impact designs is the use of elevated boardwalks instead of roads. The elevated boardwalks are essentially bridges which do not touch the ground and are on pillars. The reason for this is that concrete roads create sedimentation which affects water quality.

The chief executive added that “Seychelles does not have major hiking trails after the project is completed there will be 2 to 3 days hikes along the central ridge of Mahe.”

Other facilities to be put in place will be ziplining, canopy walks, viewing platforms and other tree top adventures.

The low-impact village is aimed at bringing the Seychellois community together by creating and maintaining a public space where there will be nature sights, restaurants, and local farmers selling seasonal vegetables. 

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Tags: VIDA, Environment Impact Assessment, Eco-Sol Consulting

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