Environment Ministry calls for halt to ‘Dunegate’ development at Nessebur

Bulgaria’s Environment Ministry has advised the developer of a controversial resort complex project at a coastal dune area of Nessebur not to proceed with construction pending a review by the environment inspectorate in Bourgas.

The resort, which made headlines at the centre of the “Dunegate” controversy in 2012, was blocked by the government at the time but the Administrative Court in Bourgas decision in January 2014 overrode the construction inspectorate’s withdrawal of building permission.

The court decision is not subject to appeal, but the Environment Ministry appears determined to find a way to stop construction of the resort.

Environment Minister Iskra Mihailova has asked the head of the regional inspectorate of environment and water in Bourgas to hold a meeting of all concerned parties, including the Investment Planning Ministry, the Regional Prosecutor’s office, the mayor of Nessebur, regional construction inspectorate and the funder of the project.

The Environment Ministry said that the Kokala area in the area of Nessebur where construction of the project is intended is part of the Aheloi Ravda – Nessebur protected zone, under the Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Still under investigation are the transactions involving state forestry land that made the development possible.

Pre-trial proceedings in the matter have been extended to March 20, local media said. The results of the complex investigation, into issues including the change of land use and how the land was removed from its state forest classification, are still awaited, reports said.

As to the future of the development, in addition to the Bourgas court’s decision not being subject to appeal, it is reportedly also not possible to revoke the permission for the project already given by the chief architect – the town planner – of Nessebur municipality.

(Photo: Bin im Garten)



The Sofia Globe staff

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