The construction of a golf course in Ayia Napa is moving ahead, trying to raise the profile of a resort town desperately trying to rebrand its tourist product.
The state land, which is earmarked for the golf project in the Cavo Greco area, will be leased to Ayia Napa Forest Golf under specific conditions, according to Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides.
The minister, who responded in early March to a request by Green party MP Giorgos Perdikis, shared with Members of the House some of the conditions for leasing state land to the private company, which is basically a group of local hotel owners.
Petrides has come under fire recently after it emerged that local developers in Protaras were moving ahead with projects without clearing all legal issues, and some of them could be in violation of actual law.
The company will have four years to secure all necessary licenses and follow all guidelines set by government agencies
The minister took action on Monday by issuing a call to halt illegal developments in beach areas and ask everyone to better coordinate with various government agencies throughout the steps of an entire process.
As for the golf course development, a committee in charge of state land and national forests submitted a recommendation for a Cabinet meeting that was held in February 2017, recommending the approval of leasing state land “for tourism purposes which specifically would be joined with adjacent plots of national forest and private land to be used all together as a single development area for golf course and facilities,” according to daily Phileleftheros.
Ayia Napa is already seeking a new quality of high-income tourists, following a number of public discussions condemning what has been described as “boorish” tourists who spoil the image of the town.
The golf course will be designed based on international standards in order to attract a large number of people who love the sport, including professional golfers, thus rejuvenating the area further. The development, which will feature a hotel, villas, restaurants, and shops, is estimated to cost around €12 million.
Terms and conditions
The minister said the lease will be valid only for creating a golf course and its facilities and the rent will be calculated as 5% of the final sales value of the land which will be re-assessed every five years.
The company will also have four years to secure all necessary licenses and follow all rules and guidelines set by government agencies. It will need to complete the project within no more than eight years otherwise the agreement will become null and void.
The final lease will take shape after some work to modify an earlier lease given to L.K. Mazeri company, which has since contracted with Agia Napa Forest Golf to develop the area of 590,000 square metres. The development will include 14 state plots totaling 104,000 square metres.
The golf course is expected to open sometime within the next decade.