The status on 12.05.2023
‘On 09.05.2023, the decision was taken by the Ministry of Environment and Energy to declare the area/formation of Paligremnon a Monument and Protected Landscape. The building permit for the construction of a partly underground hotel complex is thus deemed to have been collected and it is the end of private investments there.
This also ends the ‘thriller’ of the year-long struggle against the building permit by YDOM Rethimno (building authority).
NeaKriti writes on 10.05.2023 among other things:
‘The building permit was granted by both the YDOM of Rethymno and subsequently by the excavators who showed up in Paligremnos in May last year and started the road opening. br/ This was followed on May 15, 2022 by a large mobilization with wide participation from Crete to the Rock, which took the form of a movement within Crete but also outside Greece of tourists who had once visited the place. There were also a number of revealing releases from neakriti .gr that revealed unknown aspects of the investment, the backlash from the municipality of Agios Vassiliou and the fact that there was a statutory procedure that was not competently considered and the building permit was granted. The case came to light after neakriti.gr brought documents on an important issue in Parliament and essentially paved the way for the Municipality of Agios Vassiliou to commission the Natural History Museum of Crete to undertake a documentation study for the Paligremnos Protection Declaration, which was approved by the Crete Decentralized Administration and the Regional Council, allowing it to be published in the YP.EN em (Ministry of Environment and Energy, translator’s note) /em and on May 9, 2023, that is yesterday, the decision was issued that finally put an end to the cave hotel. At the same time, there was a legal ‘thriller’ in which the community of Agios Vassiliou tried to obtain an injunction from the Rethymno district court, which they lost due to inadequate documentation. The authorities of Rethymno, but also of all Crete resorted to this before the Administrative Court of Appeal of Chania and a few days ago they managed to revoke the building permit of the hotel. Today comes the decision of the Ministry of the Environment to protect the rock as a natural formation to prevent the cave hotel, designed with great attention to detail and care, from being built!’
‘The Interior Ministry’s decision characterizes, among other things, ‘the Paligremnos area and the Psarela Cape ( em charted name of Cape Kakomouri, translator’s note /em ) of the municipality of Agios Vasilios Rethymno as a protected landscape’. The purpose of this decision, with the designation of the area as a protected landscape, is the effective protection of natural elements that have a special geomorphological, ecological, scientific, aesthetic and cultural value and contribute to the conservation of natural processes and protection of natural resources in the wider area of Paligremnos and Cape Psarela of the Municipality of Agios Vassiliou Rethymno.’
‘The marked area includes all the northern and western inland slopes of the hill of Agioi Saranda, from the area of Paligremnos in the east to the two ends of Cape Psarela in the west, and then the ridge that marks its boundaries on the map (scale 1:2,000) shown as a solid white line, checked by the Head of the Directorate for Topographical Applications, and is an integral part of the present.’
The revelations of neakriti.gr
‘neakriti.gr had published in its previous publications the building permit of the cave hotel, revealing that the investment for the creation of 7 rooms was funded by European funds from the NSRF and in particular the ERDF (Special Regional Development Fund) with 200,000 euros and another 200,000 euros from the investor is promoted. The area appears to be 34 hectares and is leased by the alleged investor as it is owned by a marine engineering company founded in 1949 by her grandfather, a civil engineer. br/ The original area was bought for 171,000 euros and the 1968 contract, which also neakriti.gr brought to light, referred to 160 hectares, with the boundaries reaching the sea on two sides, i. H. within the private property lies the entire rock and cliff! It also appeared that little by little steps were taken to exploit the area, for example in 1993 when the forest area ( em forest areas are lands controlled by the forest authority and may not be built on and are not necessarily wooded, note . by translator /em ) was released and in 2019 the coastline and beach line was demarcated with the shipping company in a hurry. br/ neakriti.gr also brought to light the full planning permission of the investment, as well as all the information about alleged mediations that reached the headquarters of SADAS em (Association of University Graduate Architects, translator’s note /em ) in Athens and about the participation from politicians. At the same time, he unveiled the NSRF funding and contract to acquire the area from the private sector, beginning with the first seller’s usufruct in the 1950’s and then the 1960’s. br/ Important were the revelations of mishandling by local authorities and documents that never reached the municipality of Agios Vassiliou, which would have paved the way for the protection of the landmark three years earlier.’
Save Paligremnos – SOS Plakias at Facebook
neakriti.gr am 18.05.2022 “Investment in Paligremnos”