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28th November 2022
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HomeProperty NewsThousands of buildings should be demolished

Thousands of buildings should be demolished

The thousands of buildings suffering from planning infringements that cannot be resolved should probably be demolished, as this is the only solution according to Interior Minister Nicos Nouris.

Speaking at the House Finance Committee on Monday reported on the situation regarding the backlog of Title Deeds.

Back in 2015 around 45,000 Title Deed applications were waiting to be approved. Since then, some 30,000 deeds had been issued, but as many as 15,000 applications were still waiting for approval.

Mr Nouris noted that “However, a large number of these buildings cannot be granted a Title Deed (because of planning infringements) and perhaps the only remedy would be their demolition.”

When the minister spoke at the Land Development Conference in September 2021 he announced that the Title Deed backlog had been reduced to 19,190 adding that 8,000 deeds will be issued in 2022 without problems and a further 6,500 will be issued by the end of 2022 with notes.

However, it seems that there are a large number of buildings that cannot even be issued Title Deeds with notes and should therefore be demolished.

The underlying cause of planning infringements is the total lack of independent inspections of properties while they’re under construction. Independent inspections only take place after the developer advises the planning authority after the company’s supervising engineer/architect signs off the building(s) as complete.

What is needed to help avoid planning infringements is independent inspections at key stages of construction. These would highlight potential problems allowing developers to correct them before continuing work. Failure to resolve any problems should be dealt with severely.

There are numerous rogues and charlatans in the building industry who build without having first received the required permits and permissions. Others who have received the required permits are known to ignore them and build whatever they like.

Given the current situation with no independent inspections as construction takes place, it’s no wonder that the only solution available currently is for a ‘large number of buildings’ to be demolished.

But what redress will be available to those who have bought these properties and who may have been living in them for many years?

 

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5 COMMENTS

  1. How about starting with the unsightly shells of buildings that sit idle and decaying for years. These are a blight on the countries beautiful landscape.

    As a former building contractor, not on Cyprus, the county or the municipality that issues the original building permit should be doing periodic inspections at every phase of construction to insure that the building codes are adhered to.

    Those contractors choosing to ignore the limitations of their permits and/or building codes in general are the last ones hiring an independent inspector.

  2. I’ve been saying for many years that the planning office should carry out inspections at least 10 per building / unit at a cost of €100 per inspection, any wrong doing and they can stop the construction, then followed up with a final inspection at €500 per unit and within 7 working days issue a final completion certificate, this alone will clean up the industry and won’t have any title issues. But saying all this the brown envelope companies will go bust, so better to stay with the Wild West option.

    • As well as buildings being inspected during their construction, they need to be inspected every 5-8 years to make sure they’re being maintained and repaired.

      The problem is who is going to inspect them? Maybe ETEK registered surveyors from a different district? Perhaps the local planning office should inspect 1 in 10 buildings that have been inspected by ETEK to ensure no ‘brown envelopes”?

      • When a contractor applies for a building permit he pays a fee, though I am not aware of how much, but this fee should enough so that every key phase of construction, eg. foundation, electrical, plumbing and so forth, can and should be inspected by local authorities to insure that building codes are strictly adhered to.

        I cannot agree that a homeowner should be mandated to have their buildings inspected once there has been a CO, Certificate of Occupancy, issued. This CO is what tells the homeowner that their home was built to the exacting standards as required by the building codes of their municipality. Who’s standards or codes would they referred to when inspecting? Codes change over time. An inspector would have to be versed in the exact codes for the period in which the home was built to be fair or will they expect a homeowner to upgrade as codes change. This could open pandora’s box.

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