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922 objections shake urban planning

14/10/2003 11:21
A total of 922 objections to the revised urban planning rules announced in March, are about to shake the local property market. According to StockWatch sources, until the 10th Oct, individuals and companies alike contested the various parameters of the new local plans, while the number is expected to increase significantly before the deadline of Nov. 21.

Most objections (468) concern the Nicosia Local Plan, 285 the Paphos Plan, 133 Limassol and 36 the Larnaca one. As a result of the review of urban planning, the building ratio in certain areas was reduced by as many as fourty times.

The last review of the local planning was carried out in October 1996 and finalized in December 1999. During that period, 285 objections were raised for the Nicosia plan.

City Planning Council

Following the expiry of the deadline, the City Planning Council will proceed to their examination and will decide whether it accepts or rejects the objections within the period of 10 months. Council Chairman, Haris Thrasou said the Council decisions will be announced to the competent Ministry and the Ministry will take the final decision about the new planning rules.

Real estate agents: State created “bubbles”

The decision of the City Planning Council is expected to change the situation in the property market, reversing the trends experienced after the revision of the urban plans in late March. Several real estate agents estimate that the revision of the plans took a tall on various areas on the island, while increasing demand and prices for others.

In his attempt to explain the impacts from the review of the local planning, property valuator and president of Danos and Associates Elias Danos said that the bubble in property market is a result of the state’s intervention.

Invited to comment on the changes in the local planning, Mr. Danos said that plots have lost 50%-60% of their value, as the law has increased the minimum tract of land to 4.5 donums. “The other bubble concerns the 'green' areas, where the building ratio dropped from 10%-20% to 5%. The new building ratio in Latsia-Nicosia (off the University area), for example, has reduced the offer of land by 30%. This increased the property demand correspondingly and justified the price hike in Cyprus property lately”. “If the state improves the relevant legislation, prices will stabilize”, Mr. Danos concluded.