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Demolition order sought for Tala homes

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)