Project representative claims that the study has been annulled due to procedural reasons.
Ivan Kusalić, a representative of the Golf Development (Razvoj Golf) company, reacted to yesterday’s verdict by the Administrative Court in Split to annul the decision of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Nature on the admissibility of the environmental impact study for the construction of sports and recreational centre with a golf course on Srđ in Dubrovnik. He said that the decision was annulled solely on procedural grounds and added that some of the MOST’s MPs knew about the verdict before it was officially announced, reports dulist.hr on September 3, 2016.
“I was present at the announcement of the verdict. Listening to the verbal explanation of the verdict, since we have not yet received a written copy, it follows that the Ministry’s decision was annulled due to a formal mistake by the Ministry”, said Kusalić. “Our company has filed a request for the environmental impact assessment which also included two tourist zones, but the Ministry requested that the project should be limited only to 310 hectares, which covers only the area of the sports and recreation centre with a golf course”, said Kusalić and pointed out that they had to accept such a request.
He added that the Court found that such a decision was wrong, but that in no way did it question the expert conclusions of the study. “The Court did not conclude that the project had a detrimental impact on the environment, but only that the decision of the Ministry should be annulled due to formal reason”, he explained.
Kusalić stated that there is a large shadow over the whole process since the representatives of the Ministry, on the orders of the current Minister of Environmental Protection and Nature Slaven Dobrović (MOST), were not present at court hearings. “Representatives of the Ministry were banned from participating in all three court hearings, which meant that they lost the opportunity to explain their arguments”, said Kusalić.
Kusalić said that his company asked for the postponement of the verdict announcement because they had information that some of the MOST’s MPs knew how the verdict would turn out even before its formal announcement. “Since Monday, some of MOST’s MPs in the tenth constituency were discussing the verdict although it was not yet announced. We felt that the fact that the announcement of the verdict was scheduled just eight days before parliamentary elections was an attempt to influence the court, but our request was not accepted”, said Kusalić.
Asked to comment on claims by the Dubrovnik independent political list “Srđ je Grad” that the verdict will have a consequence of annulling the location permit for the golf project on Srđ, Kusalić answered that this was not the subject of the court proceedings. “The verdict does not say anything about it. The study has to be redone in one segment. There is no reason to discuss location permit since the proceedings did not cover that issue”, concluded Kusalić.