Minoan claims 'significant step' towards Crete resort

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Scottish travel group Minoan has claimed a “significant” step forward in gaining final approval to build a €250 million new resort in Crete.

The Greek culture ministry has approved a strategic environmental assessment for the project following a unanimous positive opinion by the Central Archaeological Council of Greece.

This is a significant part of the process of obtaining a presidential decree, the Stewart Travel parent company said.

The planned development on the northeast coast of the island covers more than 6,000 acres, although more than 90% would be left in its natural state with a build footprint of less than 0.5%, according to Minoan.??

An original plan for a development involving 7,000 beds in 2007 was rejected on planning grounds in December 2010.

Around 2,000 beds are now planned across a range of hotels, with Sixth Senses Resorts and Spas penciled in to operate one of two flagship properties.

At least 650 rooms and suites would be aimed at catering for the “more sophisticated needs of today’s travellers” with the site including spas and wellness centres.

Minoan claims the project will be one of the most environmentally-friendly developments in Europe when completed.

Group chairman Christopher Egleton said: “We are delighted to have received the unanimous support of the council, which reinforces our confidence in the successful conclusion of the process for the issuance of the preside