Bulgarian Parliament passed at first reading amendments to the Black Sea Coast Act that banned most construction on beachfronts on July 11, but local media reports claimed that the ban was unlikely to make it into the final version of the law.
Although the ruling majority’s MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of the ban – which would allow only sports infrastructure facilities to be built on the 100m closest to the water line, pressure from seaside municipalities, who fear that they will lose too much revenue, made it likely that the ban would be removed from the bill prior to the second reading in Parliament.
“This is a case of taking an issue to its extreme and [the ban] is far from necessary,” Dimitar Boichev, MP for ruling party GERB from Bourgas on the Black Sea, told Bulgarian National Television. He said that while Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast had indeed seen its share of over-construction, that was no longer the case after the Black Sea Coast Act went into force in 2008.
According to GERB MP Lyuben Tatarski, the existing regulatory framework was sufficiently restrictive to discourage over-development on the beaches, a point of view shared by Black Sea municipalities.
Other changes to the Black Sea Coast Act include free and unimpeded access for all to beaches, as well as a reworked procedure for issuing concessions on beaches, which is expected to speed up such proceedings.