Limni Resorts & Golf Courses, a member of the Shacolas group, announced on 8 August that its project to build a golf resort in the Paphos region (Polis Chrysochous) received permission from the local authorities for construction. As stated in the company's official statement, the project complied with all laws and implemented the recommendations of the European Commission.
The project provides for the construction of two golf courses on 18 holes each, two club houses, hotels, villas and other buildings, as well as infrastructure facilities for recreation, bicycle paths and a museum. The company notes that the project will fit into the nature of the region and provide protection for the turtle nests on the coast.
The resort will be located next to the turtle beach of Yalya in the Natura 2000 conservation area. This area is one of the most significant for breeding turtle-loggerheads, which lay eggs there. For this reason, the EU has declared the requirements for the Limni Resort project by the Department of Environmental Protection of Cyprus to be insufficient from an environmental point of view. In 2015, the European Commission sent an official letter to Cyprus, pointing to the republic's commitment to environmental protection. If these obligations are not met, the case can be referred to the court. As indicated by the publication of Cyprus Mail, the government responded to the letter, however, whether the case is closed - is unknown.
Director of the Department of Environmental Protection Kostas Hadjipanayotu noted in an interview with the business portal StockWatch that "the European Commission has established a very strict framework for this project, which must be followed." In May this year, the department supported the requirements of the EU, after which Limni Resort received permits from the Department of Urban Planning.
According to the civil engineer Ioannis Lekkas, representing the Technical Chamber of Cyprus of ETEC, the fact that Cyprus caused criticism from the EU because of this project and, in the end, allowed its implementation, "speaks for itself". In turn, the head of the regional branch of the Green Party of Polis, Andreas Evlavis, called the incident "a crime," which "only creates additional problems for society."