GREECE’S government today threw its support behind plans by Glasgow-based property developer and travel agency Minoan Group to build a resort on Crete despite an appeal being lodged against the project.
Minoan, which is run by former Airtours boss Duncan Wilson, said Greece’s deputy minister for development had called the plan “a strategic investment bringing considerable quantitative and qualitative results to the Greek economy”.
The Aim-quoted company wants to build just under 2,000 hotel rooms along with sports and leisure facilities on the Cavo Sidero peninsula in north-east Crete.
Plans for the site were first drawn up in 2007, but were rejected by officials in 2010 on environmental grounds.
The latest appeal relates to a decision to grant the plans fast-track status and declare the project a strategic investment, which when announced in September, was hailed as a significant step forward.
A hearing has been set for 5 April and the company said it was pleased that the matter was being dealt with so swiftly. If the appeal is unsuccessful, it will not slow down the development’s progress.
Minoan did not specify who is behind the appeal, and says it has the support of national and local government as well as residents close to the site.
Chairman Christopher Egleton said: “As stated in the fast-track decision, implementing this project will create the equivalent of 1,200 direct jobs and a substantial number of indirect jobs plus the development of a much higher level of tourism in Greece.
“The project is designed to meet high environmental standards, which will be secured through the environmental terms.”
The company claims that its development will cover only
1 per cent of the 6,500-acre site, which includes the largest Vai palm forest in Europe and historical sites including Minoan-period palaces and Venetian fortresses. Legend has it that Cavo Sidero is also the birthplace of Zeus, the Greek god.