The government plan for the Akamas needs improving, the community leader of local village Inia said on Tuesday after a meeting between state officials and loal residents.
The government’s Akamas plan includes the expansion of residential and tourist zones in several villages bordering the environmentally sensitive Natura 2000 protected area whose future has been a battleground between environmentalists, landowners, developers and successive governments for decades.
The plan will also allow upgraded roads and limited tourist facilities which environmentalists believe will lead to a slippery slope to further development.
During Tuesday’s meeting, however, Inia community leader Yiangos Tsivikos said the plan “failed to recognise the demands and the needs of the village.”
“Although the instructions given by President Nicos Anastasiades regarding the plan were to satisfy most of the communities’ requests, it turned out they ignored one of the most important ones in the area, one with around 60,000 private owners of land amounting to over 4,000 hectares,” Tsivikos told the Cyprus News Agency.
He also said he asked Anastasiades not to announce the plan in March until the interior and agriculture ministries came up with a revised and improved plan for Inia.
Tsivikos added that, so far, the only plan proposed to his village’s inhabitants offered 13 hectares each for developing their properties around eight kilometres from the sea and the beaches, areas that will likely be reserved for tourist development.
“We cannot accept such plan on such a large scale and with so many land owners affected,” he said.
“As permanent residents of Akamas, we are the first to want the environment protected.
“What we are asking for, however, is a to find common ground in the form of a plan that will protect both the environment and the area’s inhabitants.”