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ETEK calls for demolition of illegal buildings

The Cyprus Scientific and Technical Chamber (ETEK) has called on the government to demolish illegally constructed buildings, according to a recent report in the Greek language newspaper Politis.

THE Cyprus Scientific and Technical Chamber (ΕΤΕΚ) has urged the government to demolish illegally constructed buildings that will not be granted relief under the proposed town planning amnesty. This will serve as a penalty for those who have broken the law and as a warning to those who may consider breaking the law in the future.

Speaking on behalf of ETEK in front of the House Committee on Internal Affairs, Costantinos Constantis, referred to recent actions taken by the Spanish government, which send a clear message to law breakers. The Spanish the town planning amnesty is not open-ended and, in future, town planning laws will be rigorously enforced without exception.

ETEK also proposed the creation of a ‘black list’ of property developers who:

  • Sell apartments off-plan without first having secured the necessary permissions and who then make false claims regarding completion and withhold Title Deeds;
  • Having been refused a loan, remortgage property for which no Title Deed has been issued in order to fund the development of their next illegal project.

Mr Constantis drew the Committees attention to the fact that various companies were destroying Cyprus’ international reputation. He said that the authorities should reject applications made land developers who were known to have broken the law.

Mr Constantis report, which was made in an earlier debate on the proposed planning amnesty bill, provoked a response from the property developers’ representative, Mr Leptos. He blamed the delay in issuing Title Deeds and Certificates of Final Approval on public sector bureaucracy and on buyers who make changes to their properties illegally, such as constructing BBQs and enclosing balconies. It also claimed that some of the provisions in the proposed legislation being proposed will lead to stagnation in the construction industry.

About ETEK

The Cyprus Scientific and Technical Chamber (ΕΤΕΚ) is the statutory Technical Advisor to the State and is the umbrella organisation for all Cypriot Engineers.

Readers' comments

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  • @Steve, I believe in this context that “illegally constructed buildings” are those that would not be granted relief under the proposed Town Planning amnesty.

    I feel that the article shows a hardening of attitudes amongst the ‘good guys’ in the property sector for the Government to clamp down on illegal activities that are destroying their industry.

  • Steve says:

    I am astonished to see these statements coming out of ETEK. The professional organisations in Cyprus are full of civil engineers, architects, lawyers, etc., employed by the developers and I would have expected those in ETEK to lobby against these proposals, which could have very far reaching consequences.

    I take “illegally constructed buildings” to mean those that did not have building permits and thus no planning approval. This would include a large number of current and recently completed off-plan developments and consequently the blacklisting of most of the big developers. It is no surprise then to see developers predict that this would lead to the stagnation of the property industry.

    Maybe we should not get too excited, though, because closer examination reveals that demolition is only advocated for both current developments under construction and completed developments that would not receive relief under the town planning amnesty. However, those who, like me, bought off-plan from a major developer who was subsequently refused planning permission, might not be too happy to see their homes, already bought and paid for, be flattened by a wrecking ball.

  • Mick says:

    Cyprus should be ware that they should put into place proper and correct changes first. Deal with years of their own authorities apparent abuse of the system which they refer to.

    They need to correct the title deed issue first and foremost by NOT punishing those who have invested a lot of MONEY time and effort into their country, and who actually pay the TAX’s that are due by them on time, or by going after them as suggested in the above for erecting sheds BBq’s and covered areas, because they where not correctly advised by the So called Solicitors who apparently seem to have had other priorities.

    They need to STOP the building of so called legal additional properties on area’s clearly market on site plans and on contracts of sale as green areas, by most of the so called legitimate developers as it seems ALL over the Island. as this is a clear and flagrant abuse of the lax laws and their interpretations and a Total disregard for the investors in what was once a very lovely country where Values where highly cherished.

    Just sort it out or you will find people will tire of the smoke screens and interpretations and will sell up and pull the money out of the country. then where will they be?

    May be they will increase prices as per normal and bury the proverbial head in the sand???

    Sort it out fast?

    From…..
    A very concerned investor in the country he once loved.

  • Dee says:

    Developers have a cheek blaming the purchasers for lack of Title! When you wait for 15 – 20 years for them it’s not surprising that people have just given up and therefore built their fences and bbqs.

    As for demolition of illegal builds; can’t see that happening when some of the worst offenders hold hands with government ministers.

  • M says:

    Cyprus population is approx 870k. This covers 61% of the island due to the North-South divide.. This makes the island even smaller!

    Most Cypriots know their 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th cousins, making Cyprus a very very close knit community.

    Nepotism in business is common place, so government rules and regulations will be bent to suit their needs.

    This can be extremely frustrating for UK citizens moving to little Cyprus. UK is a large island with a population of 62m where there are strict government rules and regulations.

    …see the difference? It’s a difficult nut to crack !!

  • Derek says:

    It has always amazed me why the authorities refuse to demolish buildings that have been built illegally.

    If a few high profile property developers had their illegal buildings torn down and were forced to reimburse the buyers they deceived, it would certainly send a message to everyone else in the construction business.

    Well done ETEK! Let us hope the government listens to you for a change and takes up your suggestion.

    Unfortunately, I see that developers are still trying to point the finger of blame for the problems at everyone else for the disaster of their own making!

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Mr Leptos blamed purchasers?

    There’s a surprise then!!

    This reaction probably sums up the Cypriot phrase ‘My Friend’ which roughly translated means ‘Give me your money, after which I don’t give a toss about you and will scam you at every opportunity’

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