We address this article to you Mr Minister of the
Interior (Constantinos Petrides) due to your very
recent appointment in this demanding post and having
no extensive experience on matters that affect the
building industry (will special regards to ownership
and sale of real estate). Certain items that we
report could be of your interest.
It will be worth it to have a dedicated employee at the
Ministry to study the various proposals that are suggested
by the private industry say on a 6 month basis to examine
these proposals and concerns that are suggested and which
you may feel it worthwhile exploring.
At least as far as we are concerned with 36 years first line
and not theoretical experience, many of our suggestions
which were provided several years ago, surface now at a time
which is late and after the event.
For this reason we provide for you a short list of subjects
which were not addressed by your predecessors and were left
to escalate to serious problems appearing now. Place your
mark on innovations and try to solve problems that are under
the carpet for years and push forward new approaches for the
industry. Yes you have the Technical Chamber of Commerce (ETEK)
as a self-determined advisor to the state, but other than
criticism and theoretical declarations, nothing more comes
out of it (no surprise since the council of ETEK comprises
primarily of civil servants).
Common Expenses Law
A law which is not workable and it is doubtful if it is
at all understood. We have provided a full analysis of
our ideas and how this law can work for the benefit of
the building industry and it is a matter which will come
up in an increasing pressure bearing in mind the large
projects in common ownership such as the high rise
buildings, marinas, golf courses etc – full proposal
submitted 18 years ago and since then repeatedly.
Private V Public Swimming Pools:
A “joke” since no one knows what is a private and a
common pool. If there is a common pool this should have
a life guard, changing rooms, first aid room etc. What
is this? Does not work. Our idea was submitted 4 years
ago and repeatedly ever since.
Villas to let Airbnb
We reported back in the year 2004 and the lack of policy
on this. Only recently the Government has waken up on
this scam and nowadays everybody is upset including the
“sleeping” Hotel Association and others (just waken up).
Seashore Protection Zone
The seashore changes over the years and the prevailing
law provides nowadays many unreasonable provisions. It
needs to be readjusted and to reflect the present
circumstances and including the allowance of beach
improvements within the public zone for public benefit.
Some plots are now affected by 90% of their extent,
since the time of the initial introduction.
Planning and building permits issues
It is just not on in terms of time required for their
issue. We have provided a proposal of privatization
which was addressed 8 years ago and repeatedly ever
Minimum House/apts size
It just does not make sense to fix a minimum size of a
residential units causing the market to build units
larger than what people can afford. Proposals since 1990
and repeat reminders.
Planning zones of the 1950’s
Only recently there are some changes on this despite our
10 years ago proposals and now we have gone the other
way with skyscrapers and we have objected for this. The
planning parameters by areas and the quota system is an
innovative suggestion and what is needed today which
will help the local market per district - No response
since 3 years ago. Now we have some sort of a proposal
but it misses the point totally.
A new requirement but yet the building regulations
require extensive requirements for parking and this is
the reason of the investors holding back (to an extent)
much to the distress of foreign and local students.
A waste of the most valuable asset by earmarking
planning zones at 20% as if we have the coastal line of
Australia, limiting beach land only for the wealthy,
whereas beach land is reducing fast against the benefit
of the new generations (reported 4 years ago).
Trees & Green
A proposal to replace trees in wooded areas in the event
of development with replanting and subject to a bank
guarantee and including maintenance that we have
provided 6 years ago is nowhere to be found, in the
Passports & Visas
Various warnings submitted by us 3 years ago have now
surfaced for possible future problems. The E.U. is now
noting this and we expect a problem over the near future
which will have a serious effect on the building
industry and the economy in general.
Height and density-Tourist Projects
Some progress has been made but many more incentives are
required. The recent incentives have caused the
upgrading of hotels and have partially met the increased
demand. Why this was not introduced 6 years ago when we
reported the matter?
A strike force?
The setting up of a strike force to represent an one
stop shop (if indeed has been set up) comprising of the
same civil servants that have caused the problem – So at
the end we will end up back to square one.
The mountain regions
Proposal submitted 12 years ago remains on paper and now
that most of the hotels in these regions have closed
down. Recent announcements by the Government for a
€800.000 contribution for improvement is grossly
inadequate. It needs a much more imaginative scheme and
of a wider parameter in the regions of
€5.000.000-€10.000.000 for the mountain region to have
some sort of a sporting of chance to succeed (see our 4
year ago detailed proposal).
These are some of our suggestions and there are full details
on each and every suggestion should you care to examine
them, whereas your Ministry should wake up ahead of
developments and not after the events – it is time!