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Cyprus property: Town planning goes online

CYPRIOTS will soon be able to monitor their application for town-planning permission over the internet.

E-title deeds and other documents will be available over the web too at a later stage thanks to the Town-planning Department’s new website.

The site, which will start operating on November 5, will offer the public relief from the tiring bureaucracy the Department is notorious for.

Members of public whose planning application is in process can check how it is progressing by visiting the site and entering their ID card number.

Soon they will also be able to access their title deeds, topographic plans and other relevant documents from the comfort of their homes.

The website will contain information on applications made from October 29 onwards.

In order for the procedure to move into the next stage – where title deeds can be acquired – the Department needs to purchase a new server and computerise its services, which is set to cost £500,000.

A meeting was held on Tuesday afternoon under the presidency of Interior Minister Christos Patsalides, where the proceedings were discussed.

The Technical Committee appointed to examine ways to speed up proceedings to acquire planning permissions gave Patsalides a multi-page document, which included a number of short and long-term measures:

The creation of unified planning application forms that can be used by all local town-planning authorities

The Town-planning Department’s recommendations to applicants will be in writing and binding for at least six months

Third-party authorities, such as the Electricity Authority of Cyprus or Cyprus Telecommunications Authority, are obliged to inform Town-planning on changes in transmission waves and so on

Planning applications must include a photograph of the developing property and the surrounding area, a survey by an approved surveyor, information on the road network and surrounding environmental descriptions

Any omissions will be spotted within two days of applying and the application will be sent back and removed from the website, losing the applicant his place in turn

The appointment of special teams that will handle the applications

The Town-planning Department must relay all its data to the Interior Ministry, which will be take control of town-planning.

The Department will take on the responsibility of computerising the data and training its staff.

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