New strategic investment in Mykonos

While many Aegean islands are concerned about their future development and identity due to the pressures of the real estate market, over-development and tourism, on Mykonos the development of tourist villages continues in full force. A few days ago, another potential investment was announced for discussion - this time in Agrari, with a hotel and villas. This is the fifth such investment in Windy Island in just a few years.
The plan, submitted for consultation by Invest in Greece, includes a hotel part with 82 beds, 12 furnished villas, a spa, swimming pools and an indoor gym (15,781 sq m built on an area of 193 hectares). The company promoting the project, Southrock Property Company Eleven, wants the project to be included in the strategic investment plan to realize the investment as a Special Territorial Development Plan for Strategic Investment (ESHASE) to get accelerated approval.
However, the public reception of the plan was not particularly welcoming. Almost all (68) of the comments submitted were negative, with residents pointing out that Agrari is one of the last pristine areas on the overcrowded island.
The overconcentration of strategic investment projects in Mykonos is not only a result of the island's tourist success, but also, in a strange way, a consequence of the "efforts" to limit the creation of new tourist sites. In 2021, a ban was imposed on the construction of new tourist sites in the non-urbanized territory of the island, with the exception of those promoted as strategic (ESHASE) or with a similar favorable urban planning status (special urban planning plans). "The imposed suspension of construction on the island, but with the exception of this type of investment in tourism, has had this effect: Some of this investment has shifted to the strategic investment model (which is not particularly demanding in terms of the amount of investment required anyway) as a way of circumventing the stoppage of construction. Of course, it is absurd to think that an investment in Mykonos is "strategic", says Efi Sarantaku, associate professor of spatial policy at the University of Western Attica.
"Strategic investment in itself is not problematic, it is a tool used by many countries to facilitate investment. But it should not be abused and urban planning and financial incentives should not be given to overdeveloped tourist destinations. Instead they should be directed to areas with little tourism development, such as the islands in the northern Aegean Sea. Or in areas where there is a significant benefit to society, such as the complete restoration of an unpopular tourist area or an abandoned settlement"./BGNES