Sofia Chief Architect Denies Plans to Destroy Protected Area
Petar Dikov, the chief architect of Sofia, has denied reports of plans to finance the construction of a summer village, threatening a unique spot on the Bulgarian coast, the site of Irakli.
“I have no such plans because I don't want to see my name and current post linked to an investment initiative and because there is obviously tension in this area. To top it all off, everybody knows that now is not the best time for investments,” Dikov said in an interview for TV7 on Wednesday.
He admitted however that he has purchased the plot, part of the protected Iraqi area, as agriculture land back in 2003, long before his appointment as chief architect of Sofia.
Dikov was firm that he has no joint business operations with Vessela Kyuleva, the widow of a controversial businessman murdered in broad daylight in Sofia in 2005.
Meanwhile it emerged that the Regional Water and Environment Inspectorate at the town of Burgas is scheduled to come up with an assessment of the project's impact on the environment and its compatibility with Natura 2000 in September.
Bulgarian environmentalists have alarmed that the project for a summer village, to be developed by companies owned by Vesela Kyuleva and Petar Dikov, includes the construction of bungalows, which will provide accommodation for five hundred people.
The beach at Irakli, located in the northern part of Bulgaria's Black Sea coast, has turned over the last few years into an emblem of Bulgaria's nascent protest movement against the country's preoccupation with flogging the Black Sea coast to developers as quickly as possible.
In 2005 a campaign was started by a handful of "beach people" to save Irakli from the construction that has claimed 90% of the coast.
Since then, the movement has widened its scope to try to save dozens more of Bulgaria's wild beaches.
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