Monaco land extension hopes and fears. Robert Calcagno seeks to reassure after results of an opinion survey

The Principality of Monaco’s plans to extend its territory out to sea by 12 hectares at Le Portier near the Grand Prix tunnel was bound to make waves. This week Robert Calcagno, advisor to the government on urban planning and the environment reported back on an opinion survey of 73 key figures in the Principality, and sought to allay fears that the government would not be able to manage such a big project. The main concerns expressed by those questioned are that: in the long run the project will not meet the Principality’s needs , there will be major problems with traffic and congestion ,it will obstruct the view of the sea for many ,it will adversely affect the Grand Prix while it is being built ,it may end up costing the state too much ,small businesses in the area will be badly affected ,local companies in construction will not get their fair share of the work. All expressed fears about the inevitable noise and general disruption. Unlike the other major extension into the sea from which Fontvieille was created in the 1970s, Le Portier is smack in the middle of the Principality which is bound to exacerbate the problems. Construction could start in 2008 and will not be finished until 2014.
Five consortiums are putting together their final proposals to construct and manage the project in a public-private partnership with the state. A final decision is expected by January 2008. Around 275,000sqm of surface area will be created of which 40 per cent will be housing, plus offices and facilities such as a creche and nursery school. A coastal pathway is also to be created linking Larvotto to Port Hercule via the extension. Mr Calcagno said the new district will be properly integrated into the territory and that the aim is to make it profitable. 

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