Plans for the City Epoque Residence will have to return to the drawing board if they are to be realized
The Municipal Court in Prague has ruled in favor of the civic initiative Ateliér and overturned planning permission for two skyscrapers that the developer ECM intended to build in the Pankrác district of Prague 4, the daily Hospodářské noviny (HN) reported Wednesday. The court agreed that the two projects would impose an unacceptable environmental burden on the area.
Czech Position has learnt that the two projects concerned are the City Epoque Residence, a “V” shaped building with twin towers converging at the base which was to house luxury apartments, and the City Epoque Hotel. Last year the real estate firm Colliers estimated the value of the City Epoque Residence project at Kč 391 million, and the City Epoque Hotel at Kč 157 million.
Petr Kužvart from the environmental civic initiative Ateliér said the court concluded that in principle the projects could be built in the designated location, which is classified as having excessive environmental burdens, but that a number of measures to decrease their impact such as anti-noise barriers would have to be implemented.
Permission for the two towers had been issued by the planning office of Prague 4 and upheld by the municipal administration of Prague in the face of warnings from worldwide cultural protection organisation UNESCO against the buildings being erected not far from the capital's historic heart.
“The court accepted the complaints concerning noise and emissions. We have returned the case for new consideration and our decision is a binding legal opinion,” spokeswoman for the Municipal Court in Prague Martina Lhotáková told HN.
The owners of the Corinthia Panorama hotel which is situated in the vicinity of the project site also lodged a legal complaint against the planning permission on the grounds that it contained insufficient measures for accommodating the increase in traffic which would result. The court, however, rejected this argument.
ECM is in administration and was declared bankrupt on August 20.
The Municipal Court in Prague delivered the rulings overturning the planning permission for the two towers on May 12 and May 30, the court confirmed to Czech Position. The sides in the proceedings received confirmation of the ruling several days ago and have two months within which to appeal.