**SECTION 5.3 of theĀ Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreed between Cyprus and it’s international lenders (troika) is that Cyprus should “every three months, publish quarterly progress reviews, including executive commentaries on developments related to the issuance of building and planning permits, certificates, title deeds, title deed transfers and related mortgage operations.”**

The latest executive commentary (draft), relating to the issuance of planning permits, building and division permits and certificates, is presented below and covers the period to the 1st quarter of 2014.

### Introduction

According to the MoU (5.3), the Ministry of Interior has undertaken the task of collecting and publishing statistical data for the progress of the issuance of development permits.

The data collected from the Planning Authorities and the Building Control Authorities, are related to the planning permit applications, the building and division permit applications and applications for certificates.

The data are collected every quarter and include data related on pending applications, applications that have been submitted and applications about permits or certifications that have been approved.

### Planning permit applications

During the 1st quarter of 2014 a further slight reduction in the number of planning applications pending is noted at 2.6%. This percentage is increased compared to the 4th quarter of 2013, but it should be noted that there was a decrease in the number of the applications that were submitted (14.4%), and in the number of permits approved during this quarter by 10.9%.

*Based on the data collected, the decrease in the number of applications submitted in connection with the decrease of planning permits issued resulted in the number of planning applications pending from the beginning of 2013 to be reduced by 1046 applications, i.e. 15%.*

It should be noted that with respect to discrepancies observed during data checks, the Town Planning Department reports that this is due to shortcomings of the software registration system of planning data, where data considering permits that change due to administrative appeal are added to the pending number of planning applications.

**2nd quarter 2013**

- decrease in the number of applications pending at the end of the 2nd quarter by 474 applications (7%),

- decrease in the number of applications submitted by 200 applications (10%),

- increase in the number of planning permits approved by 178 permits (8.6%).

**3rd quarter 2013**

- decrease in the number of applications pending at the end of the 3rd quarter by 210 applications (3.3%),

- decrease in the number of applications submitted by 114 applications (6.4%),

- decrease of the number of planning permits approved by 294 permits (13%).

**4th quarter 2013**

- decrease in the number of applications pending at the end of the 4th quarter by 101 applications (1.6%),

- increase in the number of applications submitted by 297 applications (18%),

- increase in the number of planning permits approved by 186 permits (9.5%).

**1st quarter 2014**

- decrease in the number of applications pending at the end of the 1st quarter by 165 applications (2.62%),

- decrease in the number of applications submitted by 282 applications (14.4%),

- decrease in the number of planning permits approved by 234 permits (10.9%).

### Building permits and division permits

During the 1st quarter of 2014 a further reduction is noted in the number of building and division applications pending at 4.2%. This percentage is at the same level to the 4th quarter, but it should be considered that there was a decrease in the number of applications submitted (4.8%) as well as for the number of permits approved during this quarter (15.8%).

*Based on the collected data, the decrease in the rate of issuance of building permits and division permits in combination to the preservation of the number of applications that are pending at the end of 1st quarter of 2014 resulted in the number of the building and division permits that are pending since the beginning of 2013 to decrease by 779 applications (11.5%).*

It should be noted that with respect to discrepancies observed during data checks for the previous quarters, a number of Building Control Authorities illustrated that submitted data show these differences, mainly due to weaknesses in the computer systems to define the correct data or even lack of computerized information systems and electronic databases. Consequently, the basis (benchmark) for the study of work performed and recording progress of the permits of the building and division permits (and certificates also), should be considered the statistical data submitted from the Building Control Authorities during the 3rd quarter.

**2nd quarter 2013**

- decrease of the number of applications pending at the end of the 2nd quarter by 41 applications (0.6%),

- decrease of the number of applications submitted by 256 applications ( 13.4%),

- decrease of the number of permits approved by 89 permits (5%).

**3rd quarter 2013**

- decrease of the number of applications pending at the end of the 3rd quarter by 337 applications (5%) ,

- decrease of the number of applications submitted by 26 applications (1.6%),

- increase of the number of permits approved by 349 permits (20.6%).

**4th quarter 2013**

- decrease of the number of applications pending at the end of the 4th quarter by 267 applications (4%) ,

- increase of the number of applications submitted by 433 applications (26.5%),

- increase of the number of permits approved by 257 permits (12.6%).

**1st quarter 2014**

- decrease of the number of applications pending at the end of the 1st quarter by 265 applications (4.2%) ,

- decrease of the number of applications submitted by 99 applications (4.8%),

- decrease of the number of permits approved by 365 permits (15.8%).

### Certificates

At the 1st quarter 2014 a small decrease in the number of the pending certificates is observed (compared to the 4th quarter), at a percentage of 1.3%. It should be taken under consideration that there was a decrease in the in the number of application (12%) and in the number of the issued Certificates (8.6%). The decrease is due to the effort taken by the local authorities to submit to the Land and Survey Department information regarding the evaluation of the buildings.

*Based on the data collected, there was a decrease in the number of certificates approved during the 1st quarter of 2014 (8.6% increase compared to the 4th quarter of 2013), As a result, the number of the certificates pending has decreased by 263 applications, i.e. by 7.2 %, since the beginning of the year 2013.*

**2nd quarter 2013**

- decrease in the number of applications pending at the end of the 2nd quarter by 326 applications (9.3%),

- increase in the number of applications submitted by 157 applications (16.9%),

- increase in the number of certificates approved by 330 certificates (30.4%).

**3rd quarter 2013**

- increase in the number of applications pending at the end of the 3rd quarter by 187 applications (5.9%),

- increase in the number of applications submitted by 347 applications ( 31.9%),

- decrease in the number of certificates approved by 151 certificates (10.7%).

**4th quarter 2013**

- increase in the number of applications pending at the end of the 4th quarter by 74 applications (2%),

- increase in the number of applications submitted by 525 applications ( 36.6%),

- increase in the number of certificates approved by 639 certificates (50.6%).

**1st quarter 2014**

- decrease in the number of applications pending at the end of the 1st quarter by 45 applications (1.3%),

- decrease in the number of applications submitted by 235 applications (12%),

- decrease in the number of certificates approved by 163 certificates (8.6%).

### Conclusions

During the 1st quarter of 2014, based on the data collected, the number of planning applications pending was decreased (from the beginning of 2013) by 15% , the number of building permits and division permits pending was decreased by 11.5% and the number of certificates pending was reduced by 7.2%.

The Technical Services of the Ministry of Interior in cooperation with the Land and Survey Department met with the Mayors and Building Control Officers of the Municipalities in order to update them in the progress of the work and provide them with further information in order to assist them in speeding up the process.

The Officers of building and planning authorities mention that they have focused on the information, requested by the Land and Survey Department, regarding the evaluation of the building stock. As soon as that process is completed they will focus on the issuance of permits and certificates.