THE INTERIOR Ministry yesterday said they are in the process of drafting a slight change to the law governing public swimming pools on the island.
Residents of a Larnaca apartment complex contacted the Mail after the developer in charge of their building threatened to close down their pool unless it was registered to only one person.
Warren Overton said that SS Georgiou Developers sent them a letter stating that the pool can only continue to operate with the following conditions:
Issue of an operating licence; employment of a lifeguard; testing and changing the water every three months and the building of showers and toilets.
According to the letter, Georgiou’s expenses “will come to £7,500 approximately and for this reason we will have to raise the amount of the communal charges”.
“The only alternative solution you have is to write the ownership of the swimming pool to one of the flat owners. That person will give his written consent that everybody will use the swimming pool. The reason that we have to do this is to prevent the swimming pool to be considered as public.”
The letter went on to say that if there is no interest from anybody by next Friday, the swimming pool will be closed with immediate notice.
Patrick Hogan, another resident of the complex, in the Mackenzie area, described the new regulations as, “pretty draconian”. He said that he bought his apartment four years ago on the basis of it having a swimming pool.
Commenting on the situation, Georgiou explained: “This is the law and I am following it as I do not have any choice.”
George Antoniades, who is in charge of the Interior Ministry’s Local Authorities Directorate said swimming pools belonging to apartment complexes are classified as public and not private as several people use them.
He added that the main concern is over the issuing of operating licences. “For one to be granted, final approval must be given either by the relevant municipality or from a District Officer.”
According to Antoniades, licences are often refused due to problems with the apartment complex not relating to the pool itself.
“Therefore we are proposing a change in the law to make it easier to obtain the operating licence. Exact details will be announced soon.”
He added that according to the law, each public swimming pool must not be left unattended while it is being used.
The Ministry’s proposal is due to go before the Attorney-general within the next few weeks.
31st May 2007 By Leo Leonidou
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2007