An appeal has been launched over the Greek government’s decision to award fast track status to travel firm Minoan Group’s Crete Project, described by the company as a “new landmark for tourism in Greece”.

The Crete Project is set to include a number of small to medium sized hotels on a 6,000-acre site, which has 28km of coastline on the Cavo Sidero peninsula.

Minoan Group said the project aims to preserve the landscape and “leave more than 90% in its natural state and create conditions for the regenerations of vegetation”, and claims that it “will be one of the most environmentally-friendly developments in Europe”.

The group said the Greek government has called the Crete Project a “strategic investment”, but an appeal has been launched to question the process followed by the Inter-Ministerial Committee in its decision to grant it fast track status.

The appeal hearing has been set for April 5, but it does not mean any legal delay in the permission process, so the group is continuing to press ahead with preparing environmental studies.

Christopher Egleton, chairman of Minoan, said: “The personal views expressed by the individuals in appealing against the Inter-Ministerial Decision to consider the project as a strategic investment (fast track) will be judged by the court.

“As stated in the fast track decision, implementing this project will create the equivalent of 1,200 direct jobs and a substantial number of indirect jobs plus the development of a much higher level of tourism in Greece.

“The project is designed to meet high environmental standards, which will be secured through the environmental terms.”