The House watchdog committee has asked the auditor-general to investigate how it was made possible for a developer to acquire land at the environmentally sensitive sea caves in Peyia and gain permission to build villas, it emerged on Thursday.
Akel MP Irini Charalambidou said the committee has sent a letter to the auditor asking for a thorough investigation into the issue, which has sparked protests by conservationists and the public in general.
“We are asking the auditor-general to go back, identify the process, and responsibility of town planning technocrats as well as the minister who signed his name to make possible all these things we see happening today at the sea caves,” Charalambidou said.
Following the findings, the committee will invite all those involved to provide answers, she said.
The zoning in the area was changed nine days before the 2008 presidential elections by then interior minister Christos Patsalides.
Reports said the businessman who owns the land bought it for peanuts in the 90s because it could not be developed. The change in the zoning shot its value sky-high.
Patsalides told Phileleftheros that he had simply accepted the recommendations of experts, which had been prepared following consultations with local officials, the district administration and the union of communities.
No one had objected after the publication of the decision, he said.
The former minister in the Tassos Papadopoulos administration questioned why building permits were granted 10 years later if the decision at the time had been wrong.