The Interior Ministry gave final approval on Tuesday to a new neighborhood in Beit Shemesh which will eventually have 1,800 apartment units. The plan was met with strong opposition from residents of Beit Shemesh and the surrounding towns, who worried that the new neighborhood would strain already crowded roadways and resources.
The District Planning and Building Committee accepted a few of the oppositions, and required the new neighborhood to build new access roads in order to relieve congestion and more public buildings for sport and culture. The new neighborhood will have three community centers and a new park around Nahal Yaramot. Additionally, the buildings will be no more than six stories in order to preserve the view, another of the residents’ complaints. The committee also approved 480 units in the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Givat Massuah, located in between Malha and the town of Ora. The plan for the new apartments also includes a promenade, a new commercial center, a community center, and bike paths.