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Demolition order sought for Tala homes

A demolition order has been sought by the Paphos District Office for 14 properties in Tala built on a hill along the main road leading to Kamares village in Paphos five years after they started to slip.

Demolition order sought for Tala homesTHE PAPHOS district office is awaiting a decision to see if they have secured a demolition order for a stricken Tala housing project which is forecast to eventually sliding down the hillside it’s built on.

Evagoros Andreou, head of the planning permits department at Paphos District Office told the Cyprus Mail that they are expecting a decision in days.

“We have filed all of the necessary paperwork and have requested a demolition order for the buildings and we are waiting to see what the outcome will be. The court will decide if the buildings are to be demolished and we are expecting a decision on February 19, I believe,” he said.

The development consists of 14 units: four apartments, two villas and eight townhouses. The latter are at skeleton stage and face directly onto a busy road which leads to the prestigious Kamares village development in Paphos.

All residents and owners were forced to leave after authorities deemed them unfit for habitation.

Paphos District officer Mary Lambrou said: “We have had a meeting with the developer and it would cost a huge amount to rectify the problem. As we understand it, he would prefer a demolition order as well. There is a severe problem with the ground and the road there.”

Tremetoushiotis Developers Ltd – operating under the umbrella of Top Cyprus Properties – are responsible for the construction of the development, they previously said that they would never have gone ahead with construction if they had been aware that the land was ‘problematic’ to build on.

They maintain they were unaware that the plot of land wasn’t ‘healthy’ – although locals had been aware of the problems for many years.

The district office confirmed that all of the necessary permits and licences were issued for the project prior to construction.

Tala councillor Cathy Delaney said: “I can understand that there is concern amongst residents that the buildings may collapse but we have been assured by a number of engineers that there is no immediate danger of this happening.”

Delaney said the District Office was also keeping a close eye on the development.

However, recently a number of electricity poles which were leaning in towards the road were moved to the opposite side to ensure safety.

“We are hoping that a demolition order will be granted, but before demolition, the developer has to submit plans for the procedure and obtain the necessary permits. If he fails to comply with the court order, then the District Office will have to return to court,” Delaney said.

Should such an order go ahead, Delaney noted that the road would have to be closed for the duration. She noted that the estimated cost of demolition and of clearing the project, and returning it to a ‘natural state’, would be around €200,000.

“There is deterioration and according to the experts the structure will eventually slip down the hillside. However, whilst there is movement and deterioration in the structure, we have been assured that there is no immediate danger to anyone. We have also been told by the engineers that before the building slides down the hillside there will be serious warning signs.”

Delaney said these would include ‘massive’ undulations, far larger than those which are already present, in the road.

Photos of the stricken properties

(Click to enlarge)

Readers' comments

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  • Steve R says:

    Nigel Howarth.

    I have read your article which is very interesting. At the time of you writing this article I bought a new build villa in Nata. Our builder, Nest Homes did a runner without building any retaining walls or a road.

    This development is built on Bentonite filled land. The map you posted does actually show that, so if anybody can access this information why can’t the district office. We have managed to stop the land moving but we are still having problems with the expansion/contraction which disturbs the drainage pipes.

    Every couple of years we have to keep topping the road up with hardcore. In light of all this we can not get a structural surveyor to sign things off. Crazy situation.

    (Editor’s comment: It’s more than a ‘crazy situation’ it’s criminal! Your development was built by Adrian Mills, Managing Director of MDE Nest Homes who fled the island after taking an alleged €2.5 million from his customers.

    Unless Mills was a complete idiot he MUST have know that the land he was building on was unsuitable – the locals know and his architect would certainly have known.

    I know Cowboy Builders Abroad helped to improve the situation when they reported on the problems in 2013.

    AS far as I am aware the Planing Authority doesn’t concern itself with the ground conditions – that’s the developer’s responsibility. It isn’t good enough!)

  • Martyn B says:

    Steve R you are so right, as long as the solicitors ,builders, banks and government get their money they don’t care about the poor buyer.

    When are people going to learn and wake up, I know I own a property and have suffered since 2005.

    All the best to those who have bought into a pile of rubble.

  • @Steve R & @Josh

    Building on unstable land has been a problem for many years. I wrote an article on the subject nine years ago – see ‘Down the slippery slope‘.

    Nothing’s changed since then.

  • Josh says:

    They maintain they were unaware that the plot of land wasn’t ‘healthy’ – although locals had been aware of the problems for many years.

    Sounds familiar, it could well be Pissouri.

    At the end of the day the District Office must have known as much as the locals and yet they issued Building Permits

    As always no one is responsible, nothing changes

  • Steve R says:

    Typical of Cyprus. Start to build a development and take deposits from the client. Complete about 70% and get paid in full. The land starts to slip because nobody has carried out surveys to highlight these possible problems. You are left with these statements.

    Builder – I did not know of any problems

    District Office – All the required permits were issued

    The Banks – Sorry your houses have fallen down but we still want our money back.

    No mention of a structural survey being carried out. I,m sure there must have been. I can see many years of the blame game coming on.

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