By Bejay Browne
DISGRUNTLED residents near an idyllic beauty spot in Paphos are up in arms over the attempted construction of a make shift motorcycle race track which was created on Turkish Cypriot owned land last weekend.
A local resident, who wishes to remain unnamed, contacted the Sunday Mail in desperation to try and prevent the track from obtaining a licence.
The race track is in the Turkish Cypriot village of Meladeia, an area of stunning countryside in Polis, close to the villages of Peristerona and Lysos.
“We could clearly hear bulldozers at work from our house, which is approximately 1 km away from where the track has been created. It was very loud and we could hear the screeching of tyres as well,” the resident said.
She added that after investigation, it was apparent that workmen were flattening the land in order to create a motorcycle racetrack, and even had a number of motorcyclists test it out.
“This noise was unbearable, so you can only imagine the impact of a fully operational racetrack in the area. There are many homes closer than mine and this is usually such a wonderfully quiet and peaceful place to live and visit.”
She said that she is not alone in her concerns and many other horrified residents are appalled and have appealed to local authorities to step in and prevent a noisy eyesore from being established.
She stressed that the main concern of villagers is the negative impact and enormous disruption which this type of development would have on their normally peaceful lives.
“These are beautiful villages and many tourists and locals visit year after year. The noise from motorcycle speed events would be horrendous and would clearly be heard in all three villages, which are close to each other.”
Large swathes of the countryside have already been destroyed by bulldozers which cleared the area for the race track, she said.
Andreas Kaponides, community leader of Peristerona where the land is found, told the Sunday Mail that as far as he is aware, permission for the racing track has not been granted.
“People complained to me about this race track and said that someone is trying to make an area to drive around with motorbikes. I have stopped any more work from taking place here; I called the district office and the police,” he said.
“If the idea is to make a racing track on this piece of land, an application for permission to go ahead must first be obtained from the department responsible for Turkish Cypriot owned land. They will then have to go through a process to get all of the relevant permission. You can’t just go ahead and do this without any of that in place.”
An eyewitness said that the community leader was present when bulldozers were clearing the area last weekend, and after being challenged about the legality of the project, confirmed that no licence or application had been submitted.
“He asked the workmen to stop work until the matter was resolved, but as soon as he left the site they continued digging.”
A spokesman for Paphos district office told the Sunday Mail the matter would be investigated.
“I have lived in this beautiful country for almost 14 years and this is the first time I have ever felt the need to protest. I do hope that this issue can be resolved, so that we can all continue to live in peace in this beautiful part of Cyprus,” the resident said.