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  2. The territory near Shies will be transferred to settlement lands

The territory near Shies will be transferred to settlement lands

Yelena Zholobova
Activists' tent camp at Shies
Photo by Dmitry Stepanovsky
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A 300-hectare land plot near station Shies, where it was previously planned to build a landfill for waste import from Moscow, will be transferred from the category of industrial lands to the category of settlement lands. Alexander Tsybulsky, acting governor of Arkhangelsk Oblast, announced this in his Telegram channel on August 29.

According to Tsybulsky, he has initiated the process of amending the general plan of the Urdomskoe Municipal District where station Shies is located.

"The Commission for the preparation of draft regulations of land use and municipal districts’ development promptly considered the initiative of the municipality administration and decided to change the category of land in the area of station Shies from „industrial lands“ to „settlement lands“," said Tsybulsky. "The procedure for transferring 300 hectares to another category has begun."

According to the acting governor, the new general plan of Urdoma will have been approved approximately by May 2021, and the amendments are to confirm that "there will be no more landfills here" at the legislative level.

On August 26, Alexander Tsybulsky was in Urdoma where he held two meetings with residents. During them, he promised to continue the process of closing the technopark’s project at station Shies, as well as to monitor the land reclamation of the plot where the developer had cut down the forest and built auxiliary structures for the landfill. According to Tsybulsky, Technopark LLC, the investor of the landfill, has not missed the deadline of reclamation yet: buildings and communications should be demolished at Shies by the end of 2020, and green space should be restored within a year after that.

The Chairman of the Save Pechora Committee, lawyer Ivan Ivanov, told 7x7 in an interview that changing the assignment of the land parcel was not a new idea. Back in January 2019, activists submitted applications to the Urdoma Town Hall with a request to allocate land plots at Shies for individual housing construction. But they were turned down then, and the authority to amend the general plan was transferred from the municipal level to the regional level. The regional authorities are trying to play the old card now, although there might no longer be any people who want to build houses at Shies.

“I believe that this is just pre-election campaigning,” Ivanov said. “Any decisions made by Tsybulsky can be overturned or challenged in court. The transfer of land according to the general plan does not guarantee protection from any other possible transfers, even if houses are built there. For example, it is possible to withdraw land for state needs and pay compensation.”

Alexander Tsybulsky was appointed acting governor of Arkhangelsk Oblast on April 2, 2020, after the resignation of the previous head of the region, Igor Orlov. The last-mentioned was a vocal supporter of the construction of a landfill for waste import from Moscow at station Shies and called protesting residents "shelupon’" (‘trash’).

Tsybulsky headed Nenets Autonomous Okrug for two years before his appointment to Arkhangelsk Oblast. In his new position, he said that he did not support the project of building a landfill at Shies and would seek its closure.

In early June, the government of Arkhangelsk Oblast unilaterally excluded the Shies Technopark from the list of priority investment projects. However, the official decision to close the project has not yet been made. Work on the reclamation of the land plot near the station is not actually underway, and Technopark LLC continues challenging the decision of the Arkhangelsk Commercial Court which ordered the demolition of unauthorized constructions at station Shies.

On September 13, the elections for governor are to be held in Arkhangelsk Oblast. Alexander Tsybulsky runs for them as a candidate from the United Russia party. His main opponent, Oleg Mandrykin from the Yabloko Party who represents the Stop-Shies Coalition, was not allowed to run for the elections. The regional election committee rejected more than half of the district deputies' signatures, as a result, Mandrykin did not pass the municipal filter.


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