Cyprus Mail

Patience needed over development in the Bases

The government will proceed with its plan of property development within the non-military areas of the Sovereign Base Areas (SBA), Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos said on Tuesday, asking the public to be patient.
The minister was responding to reports saying that the government is pulling out of the project, since Hasikos had promised in February that by June the process would be well on its way.
Hasikos had stated that the whole process would be divided into eight steps, first of which was local authorities submitting their proposals on how to best develop the area.
The proposals should have been submitted two months ago.
“The communities’ final proposals will be submitted by October,” promised Hasikos on Tuesday, pointing out that it’s not about how fast their proposals are submitted.
“We have a chance to do some quality town planning. Developments that will go along with the natural habitat but also take into consideration the country’s financial state. This shouldn’t remind people of the town planning we are accustomed to today,” said Hasikos, adding that the same principle applies to all major developments from now on.
The minister said ministry officials are in constant contact with SBA officials to draft the legal framework governing the issuing of building permits for future developments. The new zones and policies will be implemented together with SBA legislation and based on regulations in force in the government controlled areas.
“Today, the relevant government authorities, in this case the District Officers, issue the building permits after receiving approval from SBA authorities,” he said.
The new legal framework for obtaining building permits for future development is being processed by SBA authorities and the government and will be ready soon, Hasikos added.
The second step in the government’s bases development plan is the formation of a five-member team with representatives from Town Planning, the relevant district officer, the Communities Union, the Communications Ministry and the Agriculture Ministry. It will evaluate the various applications and the area and will submit its proposals for approval to the Interior Ministry.
The second step should have been completed by the end of August.

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