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?