Bulgarian Cabinet to Impose Full Ban on Dunes Construction

Domestic | January 5, 2013, Saturday // 13:15|  views

Bulgaria's Minister of Regional Development and Public Works, Lilyana Pavlova, wants a better definition of what a sand dune is. Photo by BGNES

The Cabinet will table in the Bulgarian Parliament Monday a proposal for a full ban on construction activities on plots listed as sand dunes.

The statement was made Saturday by the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works, Lilyana Pavlova, cited by the Focus news agency.

She explained that the proposal will include a text to better define the notion "sand dune," while the key amendment to the Black Sea Coast Act would be the full ban on construction on terrains that include dunes regardless of them being private or State property.

According to Pavlova, it would be extremely important to have a registry or a list of the sand dunes and their location in order to impose the ban.

On Friday, Bulgaria's Directorate for National Construction Control, DNSK, repealed the permit issued for residential construction in a protected area with sand dunes on the Black Sea coast near the top resort and historical town of Nessebar.

The repeal of the construction permit, which comes after a public outrage in the social media, was also announced by Pavlova.

The Minister presented the results from the DNSK inspection regarding the construction permit issued for construction in the Kokala (The Bone) area, Cherno More (Black Sea) quarter, town of Nessebar.

The construction permit included the first four stages of a total of 11 stages of construction in the protected area. It provided for the construction of 122 residential buildings.

Pavlova said the permit was illegal because of the lack of technical project and engineering infrastructure for the 122 buildings. She noted that administrative sanctions and fines would be imposed on the Chief Architect of the Town Hall and some municipal employees.

Earlier on Friday, it became clear that the Bulgarian Prosecutor's Office started a probe into the case with the construction in the sand dunes area near Nessebar, which, at the request of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, will include the period from January 1 till December 31, 2012.

Borisov is also reported to have ordered Bulgaria's Ministers of Regional Development, Agriculture, and Environment to update the Forestry Act, the Environmental Protection Act, the Biological Diversity Act, and the Black Sea Coast Organization Act "so that such deals and construction projects couldn't be allowed."

Friday morning Agriculture Minister Miroslav Naydenov visited the area near Nessebar, and shocked the public by stating that he was going to ask experts from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, BAS, on their position on whether the protected area in question actually consisted of sand dunes. He further said that it was possible that the entire Cherno More quarter was built on sand dunes.

The scandal with the 29 decares of protected area between Ravda and Nessebar on the Black Sea coast erupted in the last days of 2012 when environmentalists said that the area was part of the Aheloy-Ravda-Nessebar protected area from the Natura 2000.

As a result, it became clear that the area was sold without a tender based on an older law that was in force until 2010. The law technically does not provide any way of selling State land without tenders but it said it allowed procedures that started before 2010 to be completed under the older law.

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Tags: Miroslav Naydenov, Forestry Act, Directorate for National Construction Control, NATURA 2000, Black Sea coast, Lilyana Pavlova, Nessebar, Regional Development Minister, dune, Dunes, sand, DNSK, Lilyana Pavlova, Minister of Regional Development and Public Works, Agriculture Minister, protected area, protected areas, construction permit


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