Cyprus Mail

Development frozen in two areas of the island

Υπουργός Εσωτερικών – Ετήσιο μνημ
File Photo: Interior Minister Nicos Nourris

Two areas in Cyprus were on Wednesday declared by the cabinet as ‘white zones’, forbidding any development in the areas until September 2023, Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said.

The ruling affects Peyia and Menikou.

Peyia was declared a ‘white zone’, the minister said following references made in the environmental opinion on the matter of the Akamas development plan.

“As there may be need for further studies in the area of Peyia and the publication of the local plan, we have declared a white zone in the area of Peyia that will prohibit any new development until September 2023, pending the results of these developments,” he said.

In July the environment department of the agriculture ministry said the proposed Akamas development plan widely misses the mark of its declared intent as key provisions continue to threaten the integrity of the Natura 2000 network.

Its report said that the revised plan has moved in the right direction but that significant issues remain.

Nouris said that the second area to be classed a ‘white zone’ was Menikou in the Nicosia district.

The problem, according to Nouris, was brought to their attention by the village council that informed him there are serious problems from the livestock units that operate in the area.

Additionally, Nouris said the cabinet discussed and approved expanding the incentives given to purchase listed buildings due to the rise in construction costs.

The minister said the decision is meant to “help in the effort to renovate and revitalise these buildings, which are mainly located in the urban centres of the cities.”

The measures decided by cabinet include: the increase of the grants for a listed building to €100,000 from €90,000, and an increase will be given for conservation costs of homes up to 300m² from €1,200 to €1,400 per m².

Listed homes of 300 sq. m. to 1000 sq. m. metres will receive an increase for the conservation costs as well. Instead of the €1,100 given, owners of homes this size will be given €1,300.

Owners of that are larger than 1,000 sq. m. will receive €1,000 instead of €700, Nouris said.

He added that an interim incentive of up to €20,000 will be provided, if this will cover 2/3 of the total cost of support and restoration in these buildings and this incentive will be provided every decade and not every 20 years, as was the case until now.

“With these specific incentives, we hope that, on the one hand, the danger will be removed in many of these buildings and we will certainly help to rehabilitate these very valuable listed buildings which, I repeat, are part of our cultural heritage,” he said.

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