A group of Limassol citizens calling themselves “The Garden is Ours” on Monday demanded the immediate suspension of construction works at the Limassol public garden playground.

The citizens’ group, which has held protests and sent an appeal to the administrative court, is against the city’s decision to approve private sponsorship of an upgrade to the public playground and decried what it claims would be a “concrete and plasticised” version of the site.

“The municipality of Limassol continues its projects of pouring concrete,” the group said.

In their statement, the group demanded transparency, accusing the city of making their decision without securing all required permits, without consultation or a comprehensive plan, and without an architectural competition and bids.

The group claimed that the €1.7 million donation is made directly without the involvement of public finances and are requesting publication of the procedures allowing a private company to intervene, as well as detailing of the funds made through donations.

“The municipality and the contractor have already been reported by the forestry department for damage to protected trees and have been sanctioned, while an appeal to the administrative court is pending and there is a possibility that their decisions and actions will be deemed illegal,” the group said.

The state’s statutory technical adviser (Etek), the commissioner for children’s rights, the architects’ association, NGOs, and others, also oppose the project, according to the activists.

“The public garden of Limassol is a historical site of particular cultural, social and environmental importance and as such it must be preserved,” the announcement concludes.