By Bejay Browne
NO solution is in sight for the ongoing problem of public access to the popular blue-flagged Coral Bay beach in Paphos that attracts thousands of visitors every year.
Access to the beach is currently across a piece of privately owned land which has been used as a car park in recent years. Owners, Leptos Developers, plans for a number of private villas and other structures to be built on the plot.
Peyia councillor, Linda Leblanc said that since 2014, Peyia has had an application lodged with planning in Nicosia, to establish public access across this piece of land.
A concerted effort by Peyia mayor, Marinos Lambrou and the local council have yet to see a solution to resolve long-standing issues at both the beach and the two kiosks (beach bars), she added.
“We really hoped to resolve the issue in a friendly manner so that all parties could move forwards but the municipality still doesn’t have proper access to the beach,” Leblanc told the Cyprus Mail.
The difficulty of access to Coral Bay beach is tied up with the long-standing issue of title deeds for hundreds of properties in the area, which are owned by Harbour Shore estates, a company acquired by Leptos around 18 years ago.
Last year George Leptos confirmed that the developers are permitted, by law, to create tourist villas and apartments on the piece of land and that infrastructure would complement the area. It could include, parking spaces, a café, a restaurant, locker rooms, a panoramic lift, changing rooms and shower rooms, he said.
Leptos want to create tidy, modern and contemporary facilities for beach goers, he noted.
Leblanc said that the matter, will again be discussed by the council imminently, as the summer season will get underway in a few weeks.
Last year Lambrou and all of the relevant authorities held intensive discussions and meetings, but no resolution was found. Leptos had said that that they wanted to operate the beach facilities for a five year term, renewable for a further five years, followed by a five year option.
Peyia is required to go to public tender for the kiosk-beach bar contracts, Leblanc said.
The councillor also noted that the municipality’s operation of the sunbeds and umbrellas, and the two kiosks, which were not operating at full capacity last year, brought in a net sum of 750,000 euros for the municipality.
“It’s understandable that the developer wants control of the kiosks as it generates a huge income,” she said.