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The Church says it will finish our homes but the big question is when?

RESIDENTS of a Paphos development who have been waiting for their title deeds for over ten years have cast doubt over Church claims that they will be ready by the end of the year. The Interior Ministry has instigated proceedings against the Ayios Pavlos Church, accusing the institution of failing to obtain a completion certificate […]

RESIDENTS of a Paphos development who have been waiting for their title deeds for over ten years have cast doubt over Church claims that they will be ready by the end of the year.

The Interior Ministry has instigated proceedings against the Ayios Pavlos Church, accusing the institution of failing to obtain a completion certificate and title deeds for 22 properties it sold over ten years ago.

According to the owner of one of the properties of the Kitrikes Village development in Armou, the Ministry is also taking the residents to court on May 15 for, “illegally living in their houses without title deeds”.

Graham John Cooper-Selley told the Sunday Mail that several Church advisers have been summoned to appear in court for non-completion of site as per the planning permit, with eight residents this week being summoned by bailiffs.

The civil engineer explained that the Church has promised to finish all the work required to complete the site as per the planning permit, “but this is highly unlikely due to the volume of work required at a cost of over £100,000”.

The 68-year-old said that the Church has been promising an end to the saga for years.

They keep saying that they will complete but the big question is when,” he said. “Four years ago, three of our Cypriot residents were granted an audience with then Bishop of Paphos and now Archbishop Chrysostomos, who promised them the Church would finish the site.

“He joked that he would bring the whisky if we cooked the souvla at a celebration party but we are still in the same situation and the Church just does not seem to realise the extent of the work required.”

According to Cooper-Selley, an access road still needs to be widened and a perimeter footpath constructed. Road and car parking top surfacing has to be carried out, while the drainage infrastructure is not complete.

The Paphos Bishopric acknowledged that there is a problem and promised that the situation would be resolved, with people receiving their deeds by the end of the year, if everything went to plan, saying it was, “important that the people receive their title deeds.

“Receiving the deeds by the end of the year as promised is not at all possible,” Cooper-Selley shot back. “An application takes three years to pass through the Land Registry.”

He also accused fellow residents of not appreciating the gravity of the situation. “They think that everything can be resolved simply by heading down to the Church and protesting. The facts are that on this site most of us have had possession of the properties for over ten years.

“We thought that buying from the Church would guarantee no problems for obtaining the title deeds and I wonder whether other property owners living in their houses without first obtaining their deeds realise that they are classified as criminals?”

The Mukhtar of Armou, Panicos Hadjitheorisis has been called a witness for the prosecution in the upcoming court case but he said that the residents have not done anything wrong.

“I am in constant communication with the Church and am pushing them to finish the required work so this unfortunate situation can be put to bed,” he said.

Cooper-Selley explained that he is feeling very aggrieved over what has happened.

“We’re being dragged to court for no reason and are innocent of any wrongdoing.

“We have done everything we can to push the Church, but our pleas have fallen on deaf ears.”

Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2007

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