First nature-friendly real estate project started

  • 2001-10-11
  • Kairi Kurm
TALLINN - A peculiar environmentally friendly village is being established near Tallinn in Leppneeme to promote sod roofed houses and solar power.

Real estate developer Kodumajagrupp, which asked the Estonian Fund for Nature for help, heads the project. Urmas Laur, Kodumajagrupp's manager, said that many people are interested in buying homes surrounded by sea and forests.

According to Laur 44 plots will be sold on the 24-hectare land in Leppneeme, ranging in size from 3,000 square meters to 13,000 square meters and costing 100 kroons to 150 kroons per square meter. According to Sven Soomuste from Hansa Liising (Hansa Leasing), which is financing the project, there will be a large demand for the plots thanks to their privacy, surroundings and relatively low cost.

He said that a couple of kilometers closer to the city of Pirita prices range from 500 kroons to 600 kroons per square meter.

Hansa Liising offers loans to future occupants at 7 percent interest for up to 30 years.

"Most of the plots have two functions, with 10 percent to 20 percent being used as residential areas and the rest kept as forest," said Laur. "This solution is very advantageous for future villagers because the land is taxed in different ways."

The Fund for Nature will set up landscape architecture that will be obligatory for all villagers, said Laur. The villagers will also be responsible for preserving nature on their plot.

"We hope that the competitive environmentally friendly technologies will be widely used in this project," said Toomas Trapido, director of the fund. "If this vision comes true, it is the environment that many people have subconsciously been dreaming of."

Urmo Lehtveer, spokesman for the fund, said that it was possible to use solar batteries for producing hot water, heat and lightning. He said that a couple of homes would also be equipped with sewage treatment facilities, which is five times cheaper than traditional sewage treatment methods. Rainwater will also be collected from roofs and used in toilets.

Wind power could also be an option.

"Thanks to the sea breeze it is possible to use small wind generators for producing electricity for street lightning," said Lehtveer. "In the future it will be possible to separate houses from the joint energy networks and connect them to small private power plants."

The first house is expected to be completed next year.

Aljona Kozlova, who lives in Leppneeme, said that she was happy about the newcomers and hoped they would bring more money to the county that could help to improve the roads, transportation connections and entertainment facilities.

"But from another side, I am not really happy about the forest becoming private property," she said. "If everything is sold out, despite their promises to take good care of it, all the old inhabitants will be annoyed with signs like 'private property' and 'restricted area."