AYIA NAPA looks finally set to get its long-awaited luxury marina after a recent Evaluation of Environmental Impact Assessments study gave the go-ahead for the Department of Town Planning to issue to the necessary license for the developer.
One of the major sticking points to the construction of the marina was a specific part of the area between the Ayia Thekla Church and Makronisos Beach – where the marina will be built – which is also under the conservation management of Natura 2000.
The €220 million grant from the state will be granted to M.M. Makronisos Marina Ltd provided that all the necessary protective measures are undertaken to preserve and protect the wildlife and fauna in the area. The Ayia Thekla-Liopetri area is a natural habitat for the greater sand plover bird – a bird that is very rare for Europe but is known to breed in Cyprus as well as in the semi-deserts of Turkey and eastwards through Central Asia.
News of the construction had some local residents and business owners concerned about the potential impact the new marina would have on the area’s prized beaches.
But Stavros Karamontanis, who is the Managing Director of M.M. Makronisos Marina, was quick to downplay any fears.
“The company has undertaken all of the necessary studies in collaboration with one of the largest architecture, engineering and planning firms in the US, Smith Group JJR, assessing the potential impact of the construction of the marina on the previously mentioned beaches, as well as on the quality of the surrounding water,” Karamontanis had previously been quoted.
M.M. Makronisos Marina are still in the process of trying to lure investors but company officials are now confident that interest will surge following the positive news from the Evaluation of Environmental Impact Assessments Committee.
Plans for the marina include 710 berthing facilities for yachts up to 60 metres and smaller boats. There are also plans for a huge commercial sector while it will also act as a legitimate port of entry for the Cyprus Republic.
Apart from the development projects which will focus mainly on villas, other features will include shops, restaurants, tennis courts, football pitches, play areas for children, nightclubs, bars, walkways while an artificial reef will also be built to shield the marina. A car park is also being built with a capacity for 850 vehicles.