Nishinomiya City in Hyogo Prefecture is a popular area in the Kansai region that always ranks in the top class every year in the “Best Places to Live” rankings published by various real estate companies. In particular, there are many high-end residential areas on the Yamanote side of the city, and land prices are rising year by year.
However, in Nishinomiya City, a large amount of earth and sand piled up on a vast vacant lot of 5,700 m2 has now appeared. Residents in the area are reportedly voicing their dismay.
The site in question is located about 10 minutes by car from Hankyu’s Incheon Station, which is lined with high-density residential areas, and not far from Kwansei Gakuin University.
The construction site, where a forest has been cut and left bare, is littered with earth and sand that can be clearly seen from the road with the naked eye. In some places, plastic sheets can be seen covering the earth and sand. There are at least 40 houses scattered around the area.
A representative of a local real estate company explained.
A representative of a local real estate company explains, “This area was originally planned to be the site of a large-scale housing development during the bubble era, but the project was eventually cancelled. Because it had remained untouched for so many years, it was known in the real estate industry in the Kansai region as a “land with a history. A short walk to the south is the Oyashiki district, where ultra-luxury residential areas are concentrated, and to the east is the high-end residential area of Incheon, so the industry was interested to see how this vast land would be utilized.
It was about three years ago that residential land development work began again on this land. According to the original plan, the construction was to be completed by the end of October of this year. In reality, however, little progress has been made, and instead of a cleared site, a large amount of earth and sand has been piled up on the land.
Torrential rains and earthquakes have increased the risk of landslides in many parts of Japan in recent years. According to statistics released by the Cabinet Office, more than 98% of cities, towns, and villages have experienced floods and landslides in the 10 years since 1998. Last summer, a large-scale disaster occurred in Atami City, Shizuoka Prefecture, resulting in the loss of many lives.
This is why many Nishinomiya residents are concerned about landslide disasters. A representative of a local real estate company continues, “A torrential downpour could cause a landslide in the area.
A representative of a local real estate company continues, “Local residents’ associations have been asking, ‘If there is a torrential downpour, will the earth and sand start to flow out? The construction work is being handled by a civil engineering company based in Osaka City. It is said that the reason construction has been halted is because the person who represented the company passed away last year, and the company is having financial difficulties.
Naturally, Nishinomiya City also sees the land as a problem. A person in charge of the Development Examination Division of Nishinomiya City responded to our interview.
The city of Nishinomiya City is also concerned about the land. “In September 2006, permission was granted for residential land development on the northeast slope, and in August 2007, permission was granted for residential land development for stream improvement on the southwest side. We have continued to communicate with the developer over and over again, and have issued recommendations and written guidance about 10 times so far, but we have not been able to make any improvements. We have also received inquiries from residents’ associations living in the neighborhood about the dangers, and we have explained the situation to them each time.
Furthermore, on September 1 of this year, the mayor of Nishinomiya City issued an order in his name to take measures to prevent the cliff face from collapsing and causing sediment to flow out, in violation of the conditions of the permit.
The city was particularly concerned about a development plan to build a canal where a mountain stream originally existed, but construction had been halted with the canal structure cut off in the middle. As a result, water from upstream did not flow downstream promptly and was spreading throughout the site. With the order for action issued in September of this year, disaster prevention work has been completed on the broken canal structure, which had been viewed as a problem,” said the same person.
Nevertheless, the high piles of earth and sand remain unattended. This magazine also contacted the civil engineering company in question for an interview, but they replied, “I don’t know who is talking about that.
The person in charge said, “I don’t know who is saying that, but I don’t have to answer your questions.
The person in charge said, “I don’t know who is telling you that, but I don’t have to answer your questions.
A large amount of earth and sand …… appeared in Nishinomiya, an upscale residential area in the Kansai region. When will the day come when the concerns of the residents will be resolved?