articles | 26 February 2019

Environmental authorities reject Ayia Napa golf course

Environmental authorities have turned down an application for a golf resort in the Ayia Napa area because of the negative irreversible effects on the natural environment.

The decision was taken after they conducted an ecological assessment study and an environmental impact study, the press reported recently.

The study concluded the project would lead to the destruction of 7.5% of a priority-protected Natura 2000 habitat of seasonal Mediterranean lakes.

“The project cannot be implemented since the possibility of implementation and operation of the golf course in the protected area and the ancillary tourist developments will have significant, negative irreversible repercussions regarding the preservation and protection the structure and operation of natural habitats and flora and fauna,” it said.

The implementation would create additional pressures due to the related infrastructure which would be developed, such as the building of roads and electricity and water supply.

In addition, it would add to noise and light pollution and the pollution of soil and water.

The proposed project includes an 18-hole golf course and ancillary facilities such as club house and parking area, plus other related touristic, commercial and residential developments, including a five-star hotel, a road network and landscaped areas.

The golf course, a club house and a maintenance area were to be located inside the protected area. The land that was expected to be used for the proposed development amounts to 1,037,628m², of which 590,000m² would be leased state forest land.

The resort would be located in the Cape Greco area within the administrative boundaries of the municipalities of Ayia Napa and Paralimni.

The resort has been planned for years, and has been hailed as a way forward for tourism by developers and the government but condemned by conservationists and Akel, which criticised the government over its support.

“With these actions the government flouts the European acquis communitaire and should be prepared to face the consequences,” Akel stated in June last year.

There was also the matter of the drought, the party added, with each golf course needing one million tonnes of water annually.

“This alone is a huge problem especially when farmers are having their water cut.”

Akel said protection of biodiversity and national forests, and the proper management of water reserves should not be set above financial interests.

Source: Cyprus Mail

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