A FAMILY who bought a home on a stricken development in Armou in Paphos were told by authorities yesterday they must move out within seven days as the house was no longer safe.
Resident Geoff Higgs told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that two men from the district office came in the morning and examined the entire development in order to compile a full report.
“My daughter, her husband and two children, who live in house number two opposite us, have been told they have to vacate the premises within seven days, as it is not safe to stay,” said Higgs.
“In my opinion, this house is a candidate for being knocked down. Obviously, I’m not a civil engineer, but the foundations are tipped and a huge amount of reconstruction would need to be done to try to save it.”
The stricken house is now on a visible slant. Six houses which make up the recently-built development in the picturesque village have continued to move down the hillside. Electricity poles in the area are also now leaning at an angle and although Higgs says the EAC was swift in showing up and trying to temporarily ease the problem, the poles were still moving.
The entire estate is in imminent danger of collapse after it was constructed on land locals had long been warned was unsafe.
“The officials had files with them containing all of the relevant paper work associated with each property and made copious amounts of notes. They also took photos,” said Higgs.
Higgs said that officials commented that the site should’ve been cleared by the developer at the start of the project, taking away the native soil and replacing it with a ‘different hardcore and subsoil.’
“He said that the preparation of the site wasn’t correct.”
The development was built by JNM developers. The Cyprus Mail has been unable to contact them for a comment. A number of the homeowners have issued court proceedings against the developer.
Last week, one of the access roads to the estate dropped a further 7cm.Two of the access roads to the development are currently impassable with giant gaps in both, the third is barely useable.
“One of the officials was visibly shocked when he saw the state of the road,” said Higgs.
Evagoros Andreou, of the Paphos district office planning permits department said after the visit: “As promised, representatives of the district office went to the site in Armou and will prepare a report. I will examine it tomorrow and according to the findings, we will decide how to proceed.”
Higgs’ neighbour Simon Phillips said a gaping hole has appeared outside the front of his house since last week.
“We now have a huge hole like a cave outside our entrance door. It’s about two and a half metres deep and three quarters of a meter wide. The foundation of the house is now exposed,” he said, adding that the stress has been “monumental” for both him and his wife and children.
Although he says it was a positive step that officials from the Paphos district office had gone to the site yesterday, Phillips said his hopes are mainly pinned on someone accepting responsibility for the problems and putting them right.
In the meantime Higgs and his wife Maggie have made the decision to move back to the UK next month, as they no longer feel safe in their home.