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|22 April, 2019

Public access is denied to Bahrain beach projects

This is the second time the Shura Council has blocked the bill

A proposed law forcing developers of new coastal projects to ensure free public access to half of the project has been vetoed by the Shura Council.

It took the decision after learning the government already obliged such developers to grant 50pc public access, except when industrial projects were involved.

This is the second time the Shura Council has blocked the bill, which has twice been passed by parliament.

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The legislation will now be added to a list of unresolved bills that require a joint vote by parliament and the Shura Council, something which has never happened.

Yesterday’s decision was based on concerns that the bill could deter potential investors eyeing coastal projects.

However, Shura Council member Shaikh Adel Al Maawada was among those in favour of the requirement.

“Beaches and coastlines around the world are open to the public, except here,” he complained.

“People in Bahrain are obliged to pay to get a breath of fresh air, or a glimpse of the beauty of the sea.”

The bill shared the same fate as a previous one, which would have forced private developers to allocate 25 per cent of reclaimed land for social housing projects.

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