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Town Planning Amnesty: further extension announced

A further six-month extension to the Town Planning Amnesty, which was introduced a year ago, has been announced by the Interior Ministry. The amending laws were published in the Cyprus Gazette on April 6.

THE government has extended the deadline by which Statements of Intent may be submitted under the provisions of the ‘Town Planning Amnesty’ laws that were introduced a year ago.

Applicants need to notify the Interior Ministry of their no later than 31st October 2012 of their intention to submit a full application under the provisions of the Amnesty. They will then have until 31st December 2014 to submit a full application.

The submission of a Statement of Intent does not commit the applicant to submit a full application. However, if a Statement of Intent has not been submitted by 31st October 2012, the right to submit a full application will be lost.

The following announcement has been published on the Interior Ministry’s website (translation):

URBAN AMNESTY

The Interior Ministry announced that the House of Representatives approved on 5/4/2012, Bill or amending Article 10D of the Regulation of Streets and Buildings Law, which concerns the Planning Amnesty as follows:

1. The expiration date for the submission of Statements of Intent is 31/10/2012.

2. The date of expiry of the period is to reduce the claim to compensation by 20% is the 31/12/2012.

3. The date of expiry of the period is to reduce the claim to compensation by 10% is the 31/12/2013.

4. The expiration date for the submission of applications to the respective building or planning authorities is 31/12/2014.

Similar arrangements have been made under Article 45A of the Town and Country Planning Act.

The revised deadline for submitting a Statement of Intent is 31st October 2012.

The ‘Town Planning Amnesty’ aims to legalise real estate property that lacks a Title Deed due to town-planning or building irregularities.

For further information on submitting a Statement of Intent, please refer to the article Town Planning Amnesty: six month extension agreed dated 8th October, 2011.

Readers' comments

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  • julie says:

    We submitted a Statement of Intent in October last year and to this date have still not heard anything, our Architect advised us the following: `Because this law is new and not permanent, just now the officers starts to investigate the applications. I believe they do not know how to start`.

    Is anyone aware if there is a time limit in which applications should be dealt with or is this another process which could take years?

  • andyp says:

    Found what I was looking for Nigel, similar article.

    “During the meeting Mr. Symeou was forced to disclose that the only legislation under review was another amnesty for developers who had broken the planning laws and were unable to obtain a Final Certificate of Completion; plus legislation to protect future buyers was being developed.”

    This quote is from Cyprus Mail article “Outraged property buyers call for direct action” 7 April 2009.

    So if we add it all up-

    The above admission from Land and Surveys not Land Registry.
    ETEK proposals ignored.
    Cyprus Valuers Association proposals ignored.
    Not to mention The Streets and Buildings Regulations whereby the ETEK and CVA suggestions were not really necessary anyway) ignored.

    Who benefits from the Amnesty at the expense of the victim? The Developer. Why?

  • @andyp – I think the article you refer to is Has the Cyprus government misled us?

  • andyp says:

    Whilst I do not have numbers Nigel in support might I highlight, not quotes, but correct information if memory serves:-

    At a property buyers meeting in Paphos early 2009, due to be attended by The Interior Ministry, The Government speaker was actually from Land Registry. This will be in CM archive but the speaker admitted that the proposed amnesty legislation under review was in reality another amnesty for DEVELOPERS who had broken planning laws and were unable to obtain completion certificates.

    ETEK submitted proposals re the amnesty in late 2010. They proposed a black list for Developers who were selling properties without the proper consents or completion certificates.

    The Cyprus Valuers Association late 2010 suggested a few things in regard to the amnesty proposals to protect buyers. They wanted a time set down within which Developers had to apply for completion certificates as they could and can do so at will, or not at all. They also suggested that property contracts should not be allowed to be registered at the Land Registry unless LR had proof that the property in question had all necessary approvals and consents.

    The Cyprus Valuers Association in their report indicated that approximately 20% of properties without deeds, in 2010, had actually applied for completion certificates.

    Whilst I agree that individuals have caused some of the problems for themselves and perhaps neighbours I think the above clearly indicates where Official Bodies, and me, believe the real problem lies.

  • Andrew says:

    Maybe the reason why they keep extending the deadline offer is because there are not many takers.

    Now if some bright spark came up with the idea of a Developer Mortgage Amnesty, they would have mile long queues, clutching duly completed forms.

  • @andyp – what evidence have you that the vast majority are simply being asked to pay for the errors of their developer?

    Furthermore, some of the infringements will cost nothing to correct – see Planning amnesty explained

  • andyp says:

    True Nigel but by far the vast majority are simply being asked to pay for the errors of their developer who did not build in accordance with their permits and the government/local authority who failed to ensure that they did.

  • @andyp – don’t forget that many people have added swimming pools, garages, fixed pergolas, etc, etc, without having secured the necessary permits.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    More time for the gullible to waste their money.

  • andyp says:

    Fantastic!

    More time to try and rob the victims again rather than pursuing the guilty using existing legislation.

    If your developer has a mortgage on your property this additional expense and grief will NOT get your title deeds.

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