Developers are yet again trying to go ahead with constructing a golf course in the Paralimni area, the Cyprus News Agency reported on Tuesday.
The development has been denied permission since 1997 and just last year the Ayia Napa municipality rejected the proposal to lease the land after the overwhelming majority of Ayia Napa residents decided to protect the forest instead.
The developers are now trying another area, the fourth over the years, this one located in the Paralimni municipality.
According to CNA “the creation of a golf course in the district of Famagusta is the aspiration of residents, tourism agents, and businessmen in the area, to enrich and upgrade the tourist product, to address the problem of seasonality, and further boost the region’s economy.”
On May 25, the forestry department sent a letter to the relevant government departments, asking them for their view regarding the lease of the forest land within the Paralimni municipality and the application by the company Ayia Napa Forest Golf Ltd, dated May 11, for the purpose of creating a golf course and building facilities for its administration and operation.
The area covered by the project, which is outside the area of “interest of the local community” and the “special protection zone”, is expected to be about 771,000 square metres and includes the course and residential, commercial, and tourist development.
In February last year, environmental authorities turned down an application for a golf resort in the Ayia Napa area because of the negative and irreversible effects it would cause to the natural environment.
The decision was taken after they conducted an ecological assessment and an environmental impact study.
The study concluded the project would lead to the destruction of 7.5 per cent of a priority-protected Natura 2000 habitat of seasonal Mediterranean lakes.