Istanbul, April 27 () - A new plan put into place by the Environment and Urbanization Ministry and accepted by the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality will allow buildings in the Konak district of the Aegean province’s largest city to be built 10 meters taller.
The ministry’s recent regulation changed the permitted height of buildings surrounding the coastal shores of the city, which might change the silhouette of İzmir’s famous Kordon neighborhood.
The Chambers of Architects criticized the decision, claiming that the new Planned Areas Construction Regulation will worsen the construction on the already densely constructed coast of İzmir.
"We, as the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, have to comply with the regulations adopted by the Environment and Urbanization Ministry in 2013, setting the hights of the buildings in all around Turkey, like any other municipality in the country" said İzmir Metropolitan Municipality in a statement released on Monday.
The buildings in the Konak district have been widely criticized for being too close to each other, preventing wind and weather from entering the inner city. With the new regulation, it was feared the undeveloped parts of the coast would see higher buildings.
The Konak District Municipality attempted to prevent the higher height allowances by making a decision in November 2014 that limited the height of one floor to three meters.
It said the area between Kordon and the Alsancak Port was to be limited to eight floors, with a maximum height of 24.8 meters. The buildings on the Mustafa Kemal Coast Boulevard were limited to seven floors, with a maximum height of 21.8 meters.
However, the Konak Municipality’s decision was rejected by the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, which said the municipal council legally had to approve the related article in the amended regulation of the Environment and Urbanization Ministry. It also said the new regulation can only be enforced on undeveloped sites, not on already developed areas of the city.
Chambers of Architects İzmir Branch President Hasan Topal said the group will submit an objection to cancel the decision, adding the amendment in the regulation last year will cause a 10-meter increase in the eight-floor buildings in Konak. The buildings, which are around 24.8 meters tall, will be around 35 meters after the plan is enforced, Topal said.
Topal said this regulation is conflicting with the ministry’s special plan regulation, which states “the margins of the streets should be increased if the construction height is increased.”