By Bejay Browne
A HUGE tower which lights up the night sky is the latest addition to a mansion style house which has led residents and local authorities in Tala to call on the Paphos district office to take action.
Disgruntled residents say that this is the latest in a string of alleged planning irregularities at the premises, and that they are hoping for it to be taken down.
Although it’s May, the exterior of the house is still lit up at night with reindeer, Santa Claus and other Christmas decorations, and when the Sunday Mail visited the area earlier this week the tower, resplendent with lights and a glitter ball on top, could be seen for miles.
The mansion, which has been fitted with yellow reflective glass in all of its windows, is set behind high metal gates, and belongs to a prominent, wealthy Russian businessman.
Protected by numerous CCTV cameras and guard dogs, the house is situated in the Lofos area of Tala; an area known for its peace and quiet, stunning panoramic views of the coastline and expensive properties.
Tala councillor, Cathy Delaney, told the Sunday Mail that she had received numerous complaints from residents concerning the property, over alleged planning irregularities, the erection and illumination of the huge tower with a massive ‘glitter ball’ on top, and the illumination of the entire house, as well as a garage complex and a fairground in the garden.
“The ‘folly’, as I refer to the tower, went up about six weeks ago over a weekend and was then lit up for the owner’s birthday,” Delaney said. “Tala council has been in contact with the Paphos district office over a number of alleged planning irregularities, but it is proving very difficult to pin someone down.”
An added problem, according to residents, is that the once peaceful area is now far busier with inquisitive visitors coming from miles around to view the peculiar construction.
One neighbour, who only wishes to be identified as Jackie, has lived in the area for a number of years and said that she can clearly see the illuminations from her kitchen window.
“This is a very quiet area, but people are coming to have a look as its visible from down in Paphos. It’s very tacky and completely out of keeping with the area, stuck on a hill surrounded by greenery and nature.”
Another neighbour, who lives slightly further down the hillside said that there is a general feeling of indignation among residents who have been through the proper channels to put small irregularities right, paid any fines, to secure their title deeds or get them corrected.
“We rather wonder if the gentleman concerned has done the same,” he said. “It makes the area look more like Las Vegas or Soho.”
Before the latest move, the resident said that there had been previous complaints about alleged planning irregularities including the construction of a large garage block and a sort of metal
Paphos District Officer, Mary Lambrou, said that the case is being investigated.
“The home owner will be given notice to submit relevant drawings with the town planning department and the Paphos District Office. Our technician will investigate, and if the home owner doesn’t conform, we will take any appropriate measures,” she said.
The Sunday Mail contacted the home owner’s Moscow office to find out if planning permits were in place, and to enquire if there are any plans to dismantle the tower, but he declined to comment or respond to an email.
One neighbour said: “When I’ve approached him, and he’s a flamboyant character, all he said was that he did these things to make people in the neighbourhood happy.”