Discount supermarket king Rami Levy has petitioned the High Court to demand that the National Planning Council change its decision not to reroute Road 1, the main highway between Tel Aviv and Yerushalayim. Levy and his partner in a Mevasseret Zion mall claim that the decision not to make a route change will damage their business – and they want the original decision to change the route to remain intact.
The change is part of the major roadwork being done on Road 1, which is designed to make travel between Yerushalayim and Tel Aviv safer and faster. Part of the plan included building a new access road from the main highway to the Mevasseret Mall, owned jointly by Levy and partner Horizon Gold. The change was approved by the Council, but it appears that the access road will not be built, after all. Instead, customers will continue to access the mall using an existing road.
In the lawsuit, Levy and Horizon Gold claim that they built the mall based on the original plan to construct the access road. According to their lawsuit, they sank NIS 300 million into the mall, where 400 people are employed. Leaving the current situation as is will isolate the mall from the flow of traffic, and cause them material damage, they said.
Mevasseret Zion local council head Yoram Shimon told Globes that the demand was “truly arrogant in a manner that cannot be described. The current situation serves residents of the city very well, and we cannot fathom how the owners of the mall would seek to force a change to service a few dozen of their clients while harming the rest of the town. We will do everything we can to preserve the existing access ramp, and we will not allow the court to accept these arguments. They failed in their original planning of this mall, and today they are trying in any way they can to promote a correction, against the wishes and plans of residents, the Transport Ministry, and the contractor building the new Highway 1 changes,” he added. The court has ordered the state to respond to Levy and Horizon’s petition within 30 days.