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Call for property free coastline in Bulgaria

They want a one hundred metre construction free band and an end to what they describe as a systematic destruction of the environment.

Leading architect Petko Yochev told a conference in Bourgas that article 16 of the Spatial Planning Act guarantees free access to the sea for everyone and could be used to achieve the result that is desired.

He warned that coastline is being destroyed by hotels, bars and clubs that tarnish not only the environment but the entire living experience. He said that the public is deprived of free access to the beach in many places because of construction and over development also has an impact on the enjoyment of tourists.

Partly to blame was the restoration of land act in post-communist Bulgaria. Land on the coast was usually building free and when it was restored to its original owners they were keen on building immediately on the beach, the conference was also told.

The architects have the backing of several MPs including Borislav Vladimirov and Marina Dikova. 'The Black Sea coast needs a zone where construction is absolutely forbidden,' said Vladimirov. He said a similar law in Croatia had led to the demolition of buildings situated within a forbidden 70 metre zone.

Local officials in some areas are also keen to see a zone set up. Georgi Nedelchev, deputy mayor of Bourgas, said he felt that too much development actually puts tourists off.

But the issue of whether or not existing property would be demolished if a construction free zone is developed in Bulgaria was not made clear.