By Bejay Browne
Paphos residents are complaining there is no space to lie down on one of the district’s most popular beaches because there are too many sunbeds.
The sheer number of holidaymakers this year is also adding to the pressure on space.
A spokeswoman for the Paphos Green party told the Sunday Mail that a number of complaints had been made to the office by residents that said they were unable to find space to sit at the blue-flagged Coral Bay beach in Peyia.
“A number of complaints were made to me that there is no space at Coral Beach for people to place their towels, as the municipality of Peyia had placed beds and umbrellas right up the water’s edge, preventing anyone from placing their towels there and making access to the sea difficult,” she said.
Similar complaints have also been made about adjacent Corallia Beach.
However, Peyia councillor Linda Leblanc said that she had been assured by the mayor, Marinos Lambrou, that the correct numbers of beds and umbrellas are on the beach this year.
“The law designates that sunbeds and umbrellas on beaches can cover 50 per cent of the area, whilst the remaining 50 per cent must be ‘open’ for other beach users. The mayor assures me that we are complying with this,” she said.
All beaches are free in Cyprus, and municipalities can only charge for equipment, such as sunbeds and umbrellas. At public beaches visitors may bring their own items and food and drinks, and it is not compulsorily to use facilities or provisions which are available to rent or buy.
The law decrees that only two sunbeds and one umbrella can be placed in an area of 16m2.The local authorities are also responsible for beach cleanliness and must provide toilets, showers and changing areas.
Leblanc said that Lambrou confirmed there are currently 700 beds in operation on the beach, with around half the number of umbrellas.
“I know that people are complaining that the beds at Coral Bay are too close to the water and it’s hard to pass by and they say that Corallia it’s pretty crowded too.”
She said an area of the beach close to a nearby hotel, which although not the ‘best’ part of the beach, remained free of beds and provided a space for beachgoers not wanting to use or pay for beds and umbrellas.
The councillor also said that on a recent trip to Coral Beach, the sandy area did seem smaller, as if some of the sand is ‘missing’.
This part of the coastline has faced a number of problems in the past including erosion of the beach and sand being washed away in winter storms. The sand has been replaced and reclaimed on a number of occasions in the past two decades.
In addition, Leblanc noted that an increase in visitor numbers to the Coral Bay area this year means that beaches are full to brimming during the daytime.
“There are no figures on numbers as yet, but there is a noticeable increase in the numbers of visitors to the Coral Bay area,” she said.