kitchen flooring trends

Hi guys today we discuss about kitchen flooring , basically the materials used in kitchen floors.

Kitchen flooring might need to be practical and hardwearing, but there’s no need for it to be dull. Natural materials such as stone and hard wood flooring is always a popular choice and lends authenticity to a a kitchen. A 2017 tiles trend is ‘mimica’ porcelains, which re-create the look of natural materials.Mimica porcelain because they mimic natural flooring materials for instance marble,hardwood and stones. So today we’ll be taking a look at the flooring options that best compliment this color scheme. First and foremost, you need to know what TYPE of flooring will work best for your lifestyle. Your choices are tile, hardwood, laminate, vinyl, and specialty materials such as cork. While there are many more flooring options, those are the most prevalent in kitchens today. They each have pros and cons, but your household and lifestyle can help you decide on a good fit.

You want the toughest flooring. ?
You like the look of stone or hardwood ?
You want low maintenance. ?You want slip resistant tiles ?

Mimica porcelain tiles are the best

Porcelain flooring tile, a version of common ceramic tile, is the durability champ. It’s fired at high temperatures that produce an extremely hard, durable, stain-resistant tile that is impervious to moisture.

In fact, it’s so tough it can be used outdoors in virtually any climate. Like common ceramic tile, porcelain tile comes either unglazed or glazed. The unglazed versions take on the color of their clay mixture, so they have naturally earthy tones.

Glazed tiles have a glass-like coating that can be made in virtually any color, and can mimic the look and texture of real stone at a much lower cost than stone.. here are some few examples on mimica porcelain tiles

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Construction of kenyatta university proposed hostels to break ground soon


Kenyatta University popularly known as K.U is on the verge of constructing a ksh 4.8 billion hostel that will see the invention of 6, 000 rooms.

The project is set to be developed by a New York-based private equity firm Africa Integras which confirms that it is now ready to proceed with the project after concluding negotiations with the financiers. The US fund was awarded the deal to lead the public private partnership (PPP) investment in 2014 and signed a contract in mid 2015.

Kenyatta University dean, Mr. Paul Gachanja confirmed the news and said that the erection of the hostels will hopefully commence mid this year.

“We are at the financial close stage for the project and expect to break ground mid this year. We are building it under the build-operate and transfer model where the contractor will manage the property for 20 years and later transfer it to the university,” said Dr Gachanja.

The mega development is projected to sit on a 20 acres piece of land and is expected to house up to 10,000 students and ease some of the housing shortage that the university currently undergoes since many students are seeking accommodation outside the university.

It will comprise of 9,350 undergraduate beds, 500 postgraduate beds and bed sitter units for 150 married students.

Since the US fund is set to undertake the appointment of an architect, a building firm and the hostel operator, they disclosed that it would partner with local firms namely Triad Architects, Broll Kenya Facility Managers and EPCO contractors in the project. International Finance Corporation, the World Bank private lending and advisory arm, was the lead adviser to the university on the project.

Africa Integras is a global investor focusing on developing education infrastructure including classrooms, student hostels, faculty housing and commercial and leisure facilities using the Public private partnership approach.


also read kenya national library set for completion this year

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open concept kitchen ideas and other modular contemporary kitchens

Hi guys , hope you enjoyed and got inspired on my previous post on bedroom cupboard designs  Today lets draw attention on the kitchen.

The kitchen is also one of the most valuable areas of your home. If you put money into remodelling, revamping or – decorating your kitchen, it will do wonders for the value of your house.The kitchen stands alone as a hub of importance in the home,In other countries it couples up as a family space other than the lounge or rather living room, such kitchens are open kitchen concept..

pendant lighting separates the kitchen from the sitting area

open concept kitchen- living room is perfect for small apartments but it also looks gorgeous in big spaces when the kitchen is connected with the dining room and the living room. It gives to the space more elegant and sophisticated look. For inspiration check out the following lovely photos

two-toned kitchen, with a contemporary chaise longue
modern decor for small spaced kitchens

proper lighting is key to a well revamped kitchen . natural sunlight through the glass facade and LED panel lighting encased in a gypsum ceiling.

Picking interesting materials is key for helping your kitchen ideas stand out. When it comes to counters, granite and marble countertops are elegant options, while concrete, limestone and stainless steel counters are a little more in vogue. If you’re looking for kitchen design ideas that have a bit of color, add a bright mosaic tile backsplash or pick out a vibrant floor finish. Frosted cabinets are great for a more modern element, while painted cabinets make for a nice but inexpensive touch.

for your inspiration here is a a few of kitchen designs… the decor varies from traditional , contemporary and  country decoration

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Bedroom cupboard designs that will inspire you

Hi there lovely people .The cupboard is something that can define your personality and style. The things you store in it can vary from western to ethnic and modern to causal giving a true sense to who you really are. But when it comes to the cupboard itself, it is very difficult to choose one design. There are designs that are blend of both ancient and contemporary, casual and formal, saying all at once. For today, I rounded up few impressive bedroom cupboard designs to inspire you to redecorate your space.

We spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping, so the bedroom should be perfectly organized. The ideas that you will see below are both beautiful and functional, so I advise you to check them out!

If you have a lot of shoes and clothes, then you should buy a large cupboard to keep these things organized all the time. A good night sleep also means a clear mind and clean house. Million amazing designs are available on the market, so choose the best one that will not only make your space more functional, but more attractive as well.

So, what do you think about these cupboards my dear people? Do you find them beautiful? Which design do you like the most and would you like to incorporate in your space? Please feel free to share your comments with me! If you have some other ideas to decorate bedrooms, please share them too – I would love to see everything you have to show me! Thank you for reading! Enjoy in the rest of your day and don’t forget to stay up to date with the content of constructionweb

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concrete durability

Concrete structures are designed to achieve a certain service life. For instance, bridges are designed to achieve a 100 – 120 years of service. However, concrete life can be compromised or ended before the specified life.

A durable concrete will guarantee the achievement of structures with long life. In other words, it can last longer and withstand the environmental attacks without significant defects on the performance of the structures.

Concrete durability is defined as “the ability of concrete to resist weathering action, chemical attack, and abrasion while maintaining its desired engineering properties”.

It is important to mention that achieving the strength requirements for concrete alone can not ensure the durability of the concrete. The relationship between strength and durability is not linearly proportional. In fact, High Strength Concrete (HSC) may be deteriorated under the action of, for example, chemical attack resulting in loss of stability and performance. Of course, higher strength of concrete can improve the resistance against the cracking from the internal stresses but this does not necessary guarantee the durability of concrete.

Increasing the service life of a structure depends on
the quality the material selection, mix design method, production, transportation, placement, finishing and curing of concrete. Moreover, concretes serve in different exposure conditions would require different durability requirements. To summarize, durable concrete must have the ability to withstand the potential deteriorative conditions effectively to ensure the long life as designed.

The most important degradation mechanisms in concrete structures are:

1. Freeze-thaw damage (physical effects, weathering)

2. Alkali-aggregate reactions (chemical effects)

3. Sulfate attack (chemical effects)

4. Corrosion of reinforcing steel embedded in concrete (chemical effects)

Carbonation of concrete
Chloride induced
5. Abrasion (physical effects)

6. Mechanical loads (physical effects)

7. Microbiological induced attack (chemical effects)

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US 23.1 million dollars, Kenya National Library Complex Set for Completion in 2017

US23.1mn Kenya National Library
The US23.1mn ultra-modern National Library Complex on Ngong road, Nairobi is set to be opened in 2017, with 65 percent of the works completed on the 5 storey building.

Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat, Director General, Dr. Julius Muia, says the National Library Complex will offer a comprehensive national reference service to all sectors of the economy and contribute to literacy development and research.

With a sitting capacity of 5,000, the library is set to rival the British Library in the UK and the Library of Congress in the US in terms of size.

The project started in April 2012 is currently at 65 percent completion rate.

Already, five floors on Wing 1A under phase 1 of the project have been fitted with tiles and ceiling. Trunking, air conditioning, electrical fitting and plumbing have also been done.

Vision 2030 delivery secretariat sees a huge social-economic transformation in livelihoods once the project is operational.

“The library will offer a comprehensive national reference service to all sectors of the economy and contribute to literacy development, research and support reading recovery and lifelong learning programs,” Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat, Director General, Dr.Julius Muia said.

With a sitting capacity of 5,000, the facility is set to rival the British Library in the United Kingdom and the Library of Congress in the US in terms of size.

A section for the physically challenged and the visually impaired learners will be set aside.

Kenya has 60 libraries spread across the country, with 36 of them spread across the 47 counties. Users will be able to access full list of books in all libraries and borrow or make reservation over the internet.

“We are introducing communities to basic telecommunication technologies and giving impetus to innovative initiatives and knowledge development for children, youth, adult and the aged,” said Dr. Muia.

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World Bank values Dar es Salaam’s real estate $2.7 billion more than Nairobi

World bank has ranked Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam’s real estate ahead of Nairobi and Addis Ababa in its latest report. According to the report, the economic value of the real estate industry in Dar es Salaam is approximately US$12 billion above Nairobi’s ($9 billion. According to the report, Nairobi lags behind as a result of weak property rights and land fragmentation. Addis Ababa is ranked third at $6 billion, Kigali fourth at $2billion. The report does not include Uganda and Burundi.

The report describes Dar, Addis and Nairobi as having low economic values in comparison to similar cities.

“The low economic value comes from the way land is organised – in small fragments – reducing the scope to scale up investment in housing and commercial complexes. Small scale urban development increases cost of construction and makes it costly to lay down supporting services and infrastructure,” Somik Lall of the World Bank said, adding that there is need to clarify property rights – “because in many parts of Nairobi, land is not utilised to its full potential.”

The report also urges Nairobi and Dar to co-ordinate land and transport development in order to create value.

“As you will see in cities such as Nairobi, the share of land allocated for mobility – is limited. This further reduces the extent to which the city can support economically dense structures.”

In Nairobi, for instance, commercial and industrial structures account for 55 per cent of the total value of building stock — even though these structures occupy just four percent of the city’s area.”

“Residential development is urgently lacking,” it says, adding to a growing chorus on Kenya’s housing deficit of about 200,000 units annually.

Property development has more recently been seen as a safe investment bet in Kenya, making it a popular cash-generating option for investors.

This is evidenced by the numerous giant cranes on the city’s commercial districts such as Upper Hill and Westlands.

Property experts yesterday acknowledged that office space charges are higher in Dar at an average of $22 per square metre compared to Nairobi’s $12 – $14.

They, however, said that rents have been falling in Dar even as growth remains steady in Nairobi, making the Kenyan capital more lucrative in terms of return on investment.

“Honestly, we are struggling to sell space in Dar. So based on a long-term view, Nairobi’s capital value will be higher,” said Ben Woodhams, the managing director of Knight Frank – a property firm with a footprint in Kenya and Tanzania.

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much it costs to construct a building but how much returns it generates,” he added.

The World Bank report, however, says Nairobi has the highest replacement value for its built-up area and built-floor area ahead of Dar, Addis Ababa and Kigali, even as it lags the global standards.

“Our analysis of imagery from satellites and geographic information systems (GIS) confirms that in African cities, capital investment not only appears low near the urban core, but rapidly declines outside it.”

Mr Woodhams said property markets in Dar and Nairobi tell of different stories since the majority of new buildings in Tanzania are government-funded while Kenya’s is private sector-driven.

He said that the swanky public buildings in Dar are likely to generate near zero-returns in the near term since they are occupied by parastatals and government departments, meaning Dar is expected to record a drop in capital value should the lull in the private sector activity persist.

The shine on Kenya’s property market has in recent years pulled in multinationals in droves, especially Chinese firms that now dominate the construction sector.

Chinese investment firm Avic International is, for instance, constructing a Sh9.6 billion complex in Westlands, comprising a 35-floor five-star hotel, apartments and 43-floor office blocks.

Besides, Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani has a big presence in Kenya through his local company Delta Corporation East Africa.

The firm has recently developed the Iconic Delta Corner twin towers in Westlands and another tower in Upper Hill that it sold to the World Bank.

“The urbanisation of people has not been accompanied by the urbanisation of capital. This manifests itself into cities not being able to fully tap into their economic potential. We use various metrics to make this point, including some new analysis based on calculating the replacement value of building stock in the city,” the study says.

The World Bank purchased Delta Centre from Mr Ambani to host its Kenyan offices at a cost of $22.8 million (Sh2.3 billion) while consultancy firm PwC bought one part of the Westlands towers.

Multi-billion shilling Garden City Mall, which opened its doors in 2015 on Nairobi’s Thika Road, is owned by British investment firm Actis.

Investment firm Centum opened Two Rivers Development on February 14, a multi-billion shilling real estate project in Kiambu that is designed to host the largest shopping mall in the region.

Two Rivers, which comprises a shopping mall, hotel, office blocks and apartments, sits on a 102-acre piece of land on Limuru Road in Kenya’s capital city.

Also in the top end of commercial real estate market is Dubai-based real estate company Abcon International LLC, which plans to build a Sh5.52 billion towering complex in Nairobi comprising a shopping mall, office block and a hotel modelled on Singapore’s Iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

The 35-storey skyscraper will be located in Nairobi’s commercial district of Upper Hill. The mixed-use development will also feature luxury apartments and an amphitheatre.

Kenya’s property market has boomed in recent years, catching the eye of deep-pocketed foreign developers from China, India, Britain and United Arab Emirates.

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Honeycombs in concrete

Honeycombs are hollow spaces and cavities left in concrete mass on surface or inside the concrete mass where concrete could not reach. These look like honey bees nest.

Honeycombs which are on sides are visible to naked eyes and can be detected easily as soon shuttering is removed. Honey combs which are inside mass of concrete can only be detected by advanced techniques like ultrasonic testing .

Honeycomb is due to non-reaching of concrete to all places due to which cavities and hallow pockets are created, main reasons are:

1) Improper vibration during concrete.

2) Less cover to reinforcement bars

3) Use of very stiff concrete (this can be avoided by controlling water as per slump test).

4) Places like junction of beam to beam to column and to one or more beams are the typical spots where honey combs are observed. This is due to jumbling of reinforcement of beams and column rods at one place; special attention is required at such place during concreting and vibrating.

5) Presence of more percentage of bigger size of aggregate in concrete also prevents concrete to fill narrow spaces between the reinforcement rods.

Remedies for Honeycombs in Concrete

Strictly speaking wherever honeycombs are observed concrete should be broken and the portion should be re concreted after applying grouting chemical to the old surface. Honeycombs as a defect not only reduces the load bearing capacity but water finds an easy way to reinforcement rods and rusting and corrosion starts. Corrosion is a process which continues through reinforcement rods even in good concrete, this result in loosing grip between rods and concrete, which is very dangerous to safety and life of concrete structures. R.C.C. structures have failed with in 20 or 30 years of their construction which is less than half their projected life. Especially no risk should be taken in case of columns, Machine foundations, Rafts, Beams etc., where breaking and recasting is the only best way.

In case of honey combs on surface pressure grouting with cement based chemicals which are non-shrinkable can be adopted after taking opinion of the designer and acting as per his advice.

It will not be out of context to point out that contractors and their supervisors are in the habit of hiding honey combs by applying super facially cement plaster on the honey combs, hence site engineer must be very cautious.

At places of junction of columns and beams concrete with strictly 20mm and down aggregates should be used with slightly more water and cement to avoid honeycombs. Taping with wooden hammer the sides of shuttering from outs side during concreting and vibrating will help minimizing honeycombs to a great extent in case of columns and beams. Use of thinner needle say 25mm or less with vibrator at intricate places of concreting will also help in reducing honey combs.

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Types of ceilings

Various types of ceiling are used in building construction. Applications, aesthetics, advantages and disadvantages of these types of ceilings are discussed in this article.

The ceiling of a building form one of the most important structural elements it terms of functionality as well as creativity which in turn bring good aesthetics to the building interior. This document would help you understand ceilings that in turn would help you understand the most suitable options while undertaking either repair or renovation work of our building interior.

The ceiling gains a definition, ” A part of a building which encloses and is exposed overhead in a room, protected shaft or circulation space.”

It helps us to create an enclosure and separation between spaces. They provide perfect lighting in the room by controlling diffusion of light. It also controls the sound around a room by making the room sound proof. It, therefore, stops the passage of sound between the rooms.

Now ceiling also possesses fire resistant properties that would facilitate accommodation of building services such as vents, lighting, sprinkler heads etc. If we have any other services like ducts, pipes, and wiring that are messed up together, that they don’t give a good appearance, it can be concealed by means of ceiling covering.

Types of Ceiling used in Building Construction
Now we will discuss types of ceiling. This would give an idea to decide what would work best for a new building construction as you have many options for the same. The types are:

Exposed Ceilings
Tightly attached ceiling
Interstitial ceilings
Acoustical Ceilings
Radiant Chilled Ceilings
Convective Chilled Ceilings
Suspended Ceilings

1. Exposed Ceilings
As shown in figure-1, this kind of ceiling arrangement would completely expose the structural and mechanical components of the building thus omitting a concept of finished ceiling. This arrangement lacks a discomfort in aesthetics but gains many advantages like the economy, easy maintenance due to ease of access. This also enables the thermal mass of the building to be exposed.

Further, the above-mentioned exposed thermal mass can be exploited by installing heating or cooling elements like chilled beams that will be discussed in the following discussions.

Fig.1. Exposed ceiling example in the interior of an office room

The disadvantage mentioned before of looks can vanish if we design , install roof structures and floor structures properly , leaving it exposed in the space below by means of timber beams or concrete slabs or space trusses. It’s true that the mechanical element arrangement at ceiling level in a well systematic manner would create an attractive aesthetic effect.

2. Tightly Attached Ceiling

Fig.2.Tightly Attached Ceiling

3. Interstitial ceilings
An interstitial space is defined as an intermediate space kept between regular-use floors. It is commonly located in hospitals and laboratory-type buildings to allow space for the mechanical systems of the building.

Laboratory and hospital rooms are easily rearranged throughout their lifecycles and therefore reduce lifecycle cost. This ensures more flexibility in the interiors of the building rooms.

They include a walkway for access with a low height. Mainly employed in buildings that have the following units:

Electrical and communications wiring
Air-conditioning ducts
Chilled water
Vacuum pipe work
Chemical sewer pipe work
Water and waste pipework
Fuel gas lines
Compressed air lines

Fig.3. A picture depicting interstitial space arrangement

Fig.4. A Real Example of Interstitial Ceiling Space Arrangement

The ducts and pipe work occupy some space, which often requires continual maintenance and are subject to frequent change. The main advantage of interstitial ceilings is that they allow for maintenance and updating work, without interruption of activities in the spaces above and below.

4. Acoustical Ceilings
This ceiling is mainly implemented to control sound reverberation in a hall where there is the possibility of large sound propagation to make the hearing comfort zone. The acoustic ceiling material is made from fibrous materials that would absorb sound energy unlike other materials like plaster or gypsum ceilings.

These materials do not reduce transmission of sound between the spaces. They result in a reduction in the amount of sound that reflects into space. Hence it can be used to bring the modify acoustic character of space.

Fig.5. A Real Example of Acoustical Ceiling Arrangement

The performance of the ceiling material in terms of sound absorption can be expressed in terms of noise reduction coefficient (NRC). An NRC of 0.85 means that a ceiling material absorbs 85% o the sound that reaches it, and an almost 15% reflects back to the room.

Most of the acoustical ceilings NRC range from 0.5 to 0.9. This value is found to be 0.10 for plaster and gypsum ceiling board materials.

5. Radiant Chilled Ceilings
Radiant chilled ceilings include a network of chilled water coils in ceiling panels with insulation above. For some systems, pipework may be incorporated into plaster board. But this is found less efficient as plaster is an insulator.

The ceiling surface then cools the occupied space by both radiation and convection, providing temperatures throughout the space and avoids draught. The space requirement for chilled ceilings is found to be less, which may be installed with a depth of just 100mm. For some, a small-bore cooling coils can be embedded in plaster ceiling.

6. Convective Chilled Ceilings
These types of ceilings are a deviation from radiant chilled ceilings, in which the network of chilled water pipes incorporates fins, increasing the proportion of cooling that is provided by convection.

7. Suspended Ceilings
These are secondary ceilings suspended from the structure above (typically a floor or roof slab), creating a void between the underside of the slab and the top of the suspended ceiling. This void can provide a useful space for the sprinklers, distribution of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) services and plumbing and wiring services.

This also provides a display place for the installation of speakers, and smoke detectors, motion detectors, light fittings, wireless, antenna, CCTV, fire and so on. It provides an air ‘plenum’, in which the void itself forms a pressurized ‘duct’ to supply air to or extract it from the taken space below.

Fig.7. Suspended Ceilings

This is the one that contributes to fire-resistance in commercial and residential construction. In the case of a dropped ceiling (the other name of suspended ceiling), the rating is achieved by the entire system, which includes:

· the structure above, from which the ceilings is suspended. This can be a concrete floor or a timber floor
the suspension mechanism
the lowest membrane or dropped ceiling.
Between the structure that the dropped ceiling is suspended from and the dropped membrane, there is frequently some room for mechanical and electrical piping, wiring and ducting to be incorporated.

An independent ceiling can be constructed which has a separate fire-resistance. Such systems must be checked without the benefit of being suspended from a slab above so that it can hold itself up. This type of ceiling would be installed to protect items above from fire.

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Zoning restrictions in Runda

Residents of the upmarket Runda estate in Nairobi have opposed the development of a multi-billion shilling luxury hotel associated with wealthy businessman Ahmed Jibril.

Officials of Runda Association (RA) claim the proposed 200-bed hotel and conference facility that Paddock Investments is developing in the affluent neighbourhood is in breach of security and requirements of controlled development.

“The proposed development is located in a gated residential community of single dwelling homes within Runda Estate. Each house sits on approximately 0.5 of an acre and the developments are controlled.

“The amalgamation and change of user is against zoning restrictions and is in breach of other applicable special conditions regulating the parent grant of Runda Estate,” the residents’ association chairman Isaac Gitoho said in a letter sent to Nairobi governor Evans Kidero, Nema director-general Geoffrey Wahungu and John Mwatu, the general manager, design and construction, at the Kenya Urban Roads Authority.

The letter says Mr Jibril, who is Foreign Affairs secretary Amina Mohammed’s brother, purchased 18 plots for which he sought amalgamation of (15 of the plots) and also sought change of user from residential to commercial (Hotel and Hotel suites).

“This negates all planning regulations, compromises security of the neighbourhood, will contribute to ground water pollution and cause degradation of the Runda residential roads,” said Mr Gitoho.

Paddock Investments plans to build the 200-bed hotel and a conference centre in Runda targeting business tourists and diplomats working in the neighbourhood such as the United Nations, the US and Canadian embassies.

Paddock Investments directors include Amina Mulik Ali, ARJ Capital Limited, Sudhir Jayantilal Patel and Billow A. Kerrow. 

Documents obtained by the Business Daily show that the Nairobi county government has cleared development of the hotel.

Runda residents have, however, maintained their opposition to the project questioning how the county government approved amalgamation of the 15 plots and change of user from residential to a hotel.

“We as an association make a resolution to petition the county government to stop construction of the hotel,” former anti-graft chief PLO Lumumba, who is a resident, said at a meeting held at Lord Eroll Hotel last week.

Mr Jibril, who identified himself as the chairman of Paddock Investments, however maintained that the planned investment is above board and would not breach the set standards as claimed by the residents.

“I have good intentions and the area needs such an investment. All the approvals have been above board,” he said, even as he disassociated the Foreign Affairs secretary from his investment activities.

He said the proposed hotel would eliminate the need to approve numerous medium-sized hotels and guesthouses that expose the area to serious security lapses.

Runda Association, however, says in a letter to the Ministry of Land and Mr Kidero that there was no public participation in approving the change of use for the plots purchased as required by law.

Houses in Runda: The residents argue that the proposed development would irreversibly alter the character of the neigbourhood

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