Cyprus Mail

No sunbeds on Lara bay as Akamas local plan confirmed

lara bay 01
Lara bay

Sunbeds and umbrellas will never be accepted on Lara beach, Agriculture Minister Petros Xenophontos said while announcing the much-anticipated Akamas local development plan, which was updated with new measures approved by the cabinet on Wednesday.

Xenophontos reminded that in February, the council of ministers decided to postpone implementing the Akamas plan for another six months, as part of efforts to find ways of fulfilling all the goals it set out to achieve.

A four-month period was also given for the submission of objections to the interior ministry, which received 620 in total.

“A committee assembled by the town planning department considered several suggestions and came up with a package of measures which was initially presented to the communities on July 27,” he said, adding that the Akamas communities submitted their own suggestions during a consultation, which were also taken into account.

The measures announced by the minister include the granting of a subsidy to landowners based on their land to contribute rural areas to protect the environment and biodiversity. The amount of the hectare subsidy will be announced later.

Another measure announced was the planning and implementation of a basic road network in residential zones.

The third measure is the establishment of a local coordinating office for the Akamas which will act as a local development mechanism, with the aim of strengthening, informing, supporting and empowering local communities through programmes and projects for promoting the region.

“This will be an institution concerning purely the local communities,” the minister said, explaining that it will be state-funded but community-developed, “to highlight the uniqueness of the region and function as a bridge between public and private sector”.

The plan also provides for the creation of a crafts area within the Inia community, which will also be granted the use of a visitor facilities hub of the Akamas national forest park, along the southern bay of Lara.

“The use of the hub has nothing to do with what has been published about sunbeds or umbrellas on the beach,” Xenophontos said.

“Sunbeds or umbrellas will never be accepted on Lara beach,” he stressed. “I am adamant about this, and so is the president.”

On the same subject, he said that a mechanism will be formulated for Lara, which will be evaluated by the committee on beaches.

The cabinet decision provides for the handing over of the facilities hub to the Inia community for development, he explained. “If any of their proposals do not fall under the beaches committee’s responsibilities then they will be forwarded to the forestry department, which controls the area beyond the coast.”

According to the new measures, the Inia community will also be able to process local sea salt from Lara, and make use of the local cliffs for climbing activities, both under conditions to be set by the competent agencies.

There are also plans to draw up a study to record, map and highlight the traditional farming sheds (stegadia) that are “quintessential to the community of Inia, and by extension to the other communities” of Akamas, the minister said, expressing the hope they will be recorded as part of our cultural heritage by Unesco.

The package of measures also includes state funding to cover the operating costs of community infrastructure and local museums, and the financing of projects of common interest based of community needs.

The possibility of creating or moving a livestock unit that exists within the administrative boundaries of the community of Neo Chorio will also be examined.

As each community has its own priorities, project proposals will be submitted and evaluated by the central team so that they can be promoted on a priority basis, Xenophontos said.

“With the adoption of these measures, the socioeconomic activity of the communities will be strengthened, the protection of the environment will be achieved, and conditions for sustainable development in the area will be created,” he said.


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