Ecology Minister Emil Dimitrov told reporters today he has no intention of stopping a controversial construction project on a beach near the Alepu protected area.
A few weeks ago, reports emerged showing construction of an apparent hotel was advancing fast on the beach, known as Driver’s Beach. The site has made news on and off since 2018 when construction began. This sparked protests and the project was halted but officials assured the construction was only for a retaining wall.
The investors had obtained a permit for a retaining wall to keep the cliff overlooking the beach from land sliding. The same investor had built a holiday village on the cliff, which is at risk of collapsing onto the beach. In order to secure the investment, the owners began securing the cliff.
However, the construction has developed far beyond a wall. Although the structure does run along the cliff, it included staircases, lift shafts, and what appear to be future rooms. The building is not complete, so the structure is still in a basic stage, but the work definitely has passed its midpoint.
The National Construction Control Agency opened an inquiry into the project but quickly closed the case, having found no violations. It effectively said the structure was not a building designed to house people but a retaining wall.
"The spaces you see are not rooms, those are rather formed as a baring structure to hold the earth layers," the head of the local construction control body, Milen Nenachev said at the time.
Just after this development made headlines, the head of the union at the National Construction Control Agency Lyubomir Ivanov went on record that the building already has an issued authorization for use certificate. On the one hand, a retaining wall has received certification for housing, and on the other - a building, which is far from the point of being safe for occupants, has received such a certificate.
Meanwhile, the Prosecutor’s Office submitted a plea to the Bourgas Administrative Court to revoke the construction permit altogether yesterday. The move came after PM Boyko Borissov hinted strongly that the hotel construction will not become finished.
Ecology Minister Emil Dimitrov acknowledged today that "[the structure] doesn’t look to me like a retaining wall," but was firm that he will not interfere in any way, instead will await "the Prosecutor’s Office and the system to reach a result."
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