A rare bird colony has disappeared due to construction near Alepu

Destruction of protected habitats is a crime under the Penal Code

Construction activities at Alepu Beach
Photo: Petya Mihova

Construction activities to reinforce the landslide over Alepu Beach have expelled two species of protected birds nesting there – the bee-eater and the black stork. This is claimed by the Association of Parks in Bulgaria.

Yet in January this year an investigation of “Pro Veritas” conducted on alerts by the association showed that construction activities for coastal landslide construction carried out by “Alepu Village” AD have already destroyed the habitat of the birds. This happened despite the fact that the project had undergone two environmental assessments.

At the beginning of the year, the Burgas Eco-Inspectorate explained that the construction works are completely legal and the habitat is not endangered as

the bee-eater was an adaptable bird.

The bee-eater is known in Bulgaria in several species.
Photo: Luc Viatour

The motive in the Compatibility Assessment Report was that beyond the available 60-70 holes of bee-eaters in the landslide slope, there were 10 more in neighboring properties. For this reason, it was expected that the colony of protected birds will move. But that didn’t happen.

Even then, Toma Belev of the Association of Parks in Bulgaria predicted that the landslide reinforcement activities would destroy the birds’ nests and they would no longer return to Alepu. Now that is a proven fact according to a survey by the organization that encompasses the whole Black Sea coast. The survey was carried out in mid-May, when it was the nesting season of the bird.

“Only in the protected area, which also includes Alepu, we have not found

a single bee-eater,

said Belev. It is a bird nesting in the sands. When they are covered with soil to make a road and machinery to pass there, the bird is missing”, he explained.

The situation with the black stork is similar. This summer they are no longer nesting near Alepu. Bulgaria is obliged to protect its habitats not only under the Birds Directive but also under the commitments made under the Black Sea Convention.

Toma Belev pointed out that in view of the findings of the Association of Parks in Bulgaria they will inform the European Commission about the decision of the Regional Environmental Inspectorate in Burgas, which led to

damaging of the habitat of protected birds.

Reinforcement of landslide over Alepu Beach
Photo: Petya Mihova

If the results of the survey of the Association of Parks in Bulgaria are confirmed, the lawfulness of the experts’ judgment and that of the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water – Burgas could be challenged in court. The destruction of protected habitats is a

crime under the Penal Code.   

According to Belev, the responsibility for what happened near Alepu will rest with the experts who prepared the compatibility report of the Alepu Village project, but also on the director of the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water – Burgas.

According to

the investment intent

two holiday villages must be built on the terrain in Alepu. Their total area is just over 20, 000 sq.m. The principals are “Alepu Village”, “BREEZE 2000” and “GBS TOURS”.

It is envisaged that on the terrain, the construction of two complexes with buildings – seasonal, apartment type with corresponding public service buildings will be accomplished. As a first stage of the investment proposal, the principals have stated that reinforcement would be carried out as the area is a landslide.

As of this moment, before proceeding with the actual construction of the buildings, the investor must reinforce the landslide of the terrian owned by “Alepu Village” and the contractor company is “GBS TOURS”.

According to a reference in the Geodesy, Mapping and Cadastre Agency,

the terrain is an urbanized territory,

intended for the construction of a resort hotel or holiday home.

“The landslide is in a private property,” said Angel Burnev, who represents “GBS TOURS”. “It compromises the asphalt road, and many earth masses fall along the beach. This is a site that represents the sole and only reinforcement of the landslide”.

According to data from the Commercial Register, the municipality of Sozopol with 34% and the “Black Sea leasing company” with 66% are shareholders in the company “Alepu Village”, which owns the property on which the holiday settlements should be built. The board of directors of the company includes “GIM Consult” AD, “K CAPITAL” AD, “Black Sea Leasing Company” EOOD and “Black Sea Leasing House” OOD.

The company is with the subject of activity “construction and operation of a hotel complex with two-storeyed villa-construction and the corresponding infrastructure, hotels and restaurants”, and others.

 

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