Monday, December 8, 2008

Planned Resort in Crete Under Environmental Fire

Protesters say the proposed 2,600-hectare resort in Crete would ruin the landscape.
Photograph: Terri Harris/Alamy

More environmental espionage, subterfuge, and; of course, obscene amounts of money to be won or lost on peoples’ ability to do their jobs efficiently and silently. This thriller is set against the uninhabited tropical delight you see in the picture above.

The London-based development firm, Minoan Group, won the bid for the development on the Toplou peninsula and have named the project, Cavo Sidero. However, Athens' Supreme Court prosecutor, George Sanidas, has ordered an inquiry into whether or not the Minoan Group had an unfair advantage over rivals based on a complaint received. As part of this inquiry, Mr. Sanidas has also instructed Crete's chief prosecutor to look into the original acquisition of this land by an ancient Monastery.

The Minoan Group wants to begin construction as soon as possible on these previously uninhabited Greek isles and virgin coastline to create a 7,000-bed luxury resort. There has been a huge outcry over the €1.2 bn Euro ($1.5 bn US) scheme from ecologists, archaeologists and politicians in recent weeks since some new planning regulations have come into effect that would allow construction now. Wow, what a stroke of luck for the Minoan Group!

The proposed Cavo Sidero development must be backed by people who know something about that peninsula the rest of us don't. We all know the three rules of real estate: Location, Location, Location.

Anyone who has experienced the merciless winds of Toplou peninsula will be skeptical about playing golf there at all. Wouldn’t it be hard to play the ball where it lies if the wind keeps blowing it about? What's the secret they're not sharing with the rest of us?

When I envision Crete, I close my eyes and see the sun beating down on clear, clean water. A vacation destination for sun-worshippers and water-babies. Not many people realize (and I was one of them) that Crete still has its remote, wild, rocky places complete with vulture-haunted crags, grey-green bushes and a white limestone desert.

It is here that a subsidiary of Minoan Group, Loyalward, wants to build a luxury resort made up of golf courses, holiday villages and hotels.

At present, this remote place has no infrastructure: no buildings, no water, no electricity, no sewage plants. To provide these services would do great damage to the ecology. There is no local population, (remember the isles have been uninhabited to date) workers will have to be brought in from elsewhere as will absolutely everything they need.

The environmental problems this resort will generate next blog. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Golf Tee Times said...

well they are really protesting on concrete issue.