THE EUROPEAN Commission’s Environmental Committee has advised Cyprus that it will not give the green light for the controversial Limni development project if its environmental concerns surrounding the project were not addressed.
In April 2015, Cyprus was cautioned by the EU Commission to respect the Natura 2000 guidelines and asked for a conservation study to be commissioned on the effects of the project, and surrounding areas.
The multi-million Euro project in the Polis Chrysochous area includes two 18-hole golf courses, a 160-room hotel, sports amenities and 792 residential units, The Commission welcomed the environmental report submitted in October 2016 but raised certain issues which it feels require further attention.
The Commission believes that the proposed 280 metre exclusion zone from the beach (which is a recognised sea-turtle nesting ground) is insufficient and has requested that a 475m exclusion zone be enforced in order to protect the vulnerable ecosystem in the area.
The Commission has also requested a study into the effect of human pressure on the beaches in the area. It has also requested the institutionalisation of restrictive measures which must be incorporated in the environmental and planning regulations of the project.
Requests have also been made for a revised environmental impact study for the hotel which is planned for the area citing a lack of and incomplete information.
The Commission has also requested from the Cypriot authorities to prepare an environmental impact study on the possibility of light pollution from the lighting of the complex. The Commission has made it clear that the environmental impact should be as small as possible and the necessary regulations be incorporated in the environmental and planning regulations.
EU permanent Secretary for the Environment Daniel Calleja has advised Cyprus’ Permanent Representative to the EU that the Commission would reserve judgement on the project pending Nicosia’s response to its concerns.