A slew of illegal developments have taken place in environmentally protected areas across the country, including Natura 2000 sites, the Audit Office revealed on Friday, in a report calling for a disciplinary investigation against a government worker.

It details a politically exposed person in Sotira, Famagusta benefited from irregular procedures in obtaining a town planning permit for a tourism development. Holiday homes were constructed before all the necessary permits and approvals were granted.

Additionally, the community leader of Paphos’ Neo Chorio was involved in a decision that allowed for a road within a protected area “that significantly benefits his property,” the report said.

A “major encroachment” was also identified in Limassol’s Agios Georgios Alamanos area, infringing on the beach’s protected zone.

Construction deemed illegal was carried out on an environmentally sensitive and important area, as it is the most important habitat cave for the Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus.

It highlighted the European Commission has decided to refer Cyprus to the Court of Justice of the EU for its failure to comply with its obligations under the Habitats Directive, since out of the 37 sites it has designated as Special Areas of Conservation, it has not yet adopted the necessary conservation measures for 28 of them.

The report also underlined concerns over an illegal biological plant in Kalopanayiotis that causes environmental pollution, for which the attorney general has given instructions to the police chief to investigate.

It urged a disciplinary investigation is carried out over a forest conservator over illegal cattle farms within the Natura 2000 area, and for illegally promoting requests by the Inia community for placing sunbeds and umbrellas at Lara beach, despite objections by the fisheries department.

The Audit Office warned of the multiple fires at the Geri-Dali recycling plant site and that waste was not properly managed, even though they were duly paid.