Canua Island, a floating restaurant, cocktail bar and beach club destination, could soon be anchored off the coast of Cannes, but not if local councillors get their way.
Canua Island is a 41-metre-long by 31-metre-wide platform with everything from a gourmet restaurant and cocktail bar to a freshwater swimming pool. According to its website, a grand opening is scheduled for spring 2023, but Cannes officials are hoping that day won’t come to pass. Earlier this week, the city council voted unanimously against the project.
In an official communiqué, the city council acknowledged the “potential interest” for certain municipalities that will find themselves in full view of Canua Island. For example, Mandelieu and its mayor Sébastien Leroy are all for the concept. But Cannes’ city councillors have unanimously voted against the idea and are now seeking support for their concerns from higher places.
A letter sent to French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne by Cannes Mayor David Lisnard on Monday 20th March asks the senior official to intervene in a way that her predecessor, Édouard Philippe, failed to do when called upon back in 2018.
The letter repeats the reservations held by the council, pointing to a desire to protect the local environment from the water, noise, air and visual pollution Canua Island could create as well as shared fears for the safety issues Canua Island might pose to the busy sea lanes of the area.
No regulations exist for a concept like Canua Island
The main sticking point, however, is that no regulation exists for this type of development. Currently, Cannes’ many private beaches, restaurants and clubs have to pay a fee to the state in order to operate as well as abide by strict laws. Canua Island is unique in that nothing of this kind has ever been built in France before and hence there are no statutes governing its regulation.
Additionally, local police forces are only able to legally exercise control over the first 300 metres from the coastline. Beyond that, and where Canua Island would drop anchor in the Golfe de La Napoule, the sea is under the supervision of the state. As Lisnard’s letter states, only the state can now intervene if the project is to be stopped or, at least, come under some form of regulation.
Canua Island is being marketed as a multi-purpose events space as well as a “beach club” that could accommodate up to 400 people. Guests and staff would be ferried to their destination by private tender. The platform could be moved to different locations thanks to onboard motors.
Photo source: Canua Island