Green Party member and Peyia councillor Linda Leblanc has expressed concern over the municipality's clearing of privately-owned land used as a car park by visitors to popular Coral Bay beach.
Asked to comment on reports the company which owns the large piece of land by the beach had temporarily cut off access after municipality workers cleared natural vegetation with bulldozers on Tuesday morning, Leblanc told The Cyprus Daily she had received many complaints about the municipality's action.
"The municipality has a committee that is supposed to be discussing long-standing issues with the company, Harbour Shore Estates," Leblanc said, adding the area was attached to a large development belonging to the company which is part of the Leptos group.
The municipal councillor continued she believed the company had been justified in temporarily cutting off access to the land "after municipality workers, on the mayor's instructions, went in and cleared Akakia plants, bamboo and mature trees using bulldozers and without Leptos' permission".
"The area had been devastated by the time the police were called in," she noted.
Leblanc confirmed reports bamboo by a natural spring in the area had also been set alight but noted she could not say for sure whether municipal workers had set it as a municipality investigation into the particular issue was underway.
"I got a lot of calls about the destruction to the natural environment. People want shade and greenery even if the area is used as a car park," she said.
Leblanc added she believed the municipality had cleared the area to make the beach—at which it rented out sun loungers and umbrellas—more visible.
"The bamboo may grow back quickly but what about the destruction of the natural habitat of the tree frogs, birds, and yes, also snakes there?" she added.
Leblanc also noted Coral Bay was a Blue Flag beach and that this status came with responsibilities to the environment.
Peyia Mayor Neofytos Akourshiotis was not available for comment yesterday.