Protection zones and other strange matters
All beaches of Cyprus have the so-called beach protection zone, a strip of ??about 300 feet (100m) from the water in which no construction is allowed, not even pavements, or fence or even a pergola. The ownership of that area remains with the owner of the adjacent property, but he can not put up anything (unless if an exception relaxation permit has been obtained from the Cabinet, a time-consuming process of 2-3 years). I understand the need for this strip of land and I believe that is actually useful to widen the public beach (only visually, because ownership still is with the property owner). This zone is defined with great precision on local maps and the local authorities or the town planning department, have no say in any change.
However, the absolute definition of the strip creates some situations that should be described as at least odd. Let’s have a look at some of these cases:
- The beach is no longer as it was in 1970 when the zoning regulation was adopted. Thus, with the erosion of the sea shore, in some cases the beach protection zone is situated within the sea, while in other cases due to an increase in the coastal front, the protection zone exceeds 500 meters.
- A home which was built outside the protection zone, on a private plot and at least 300 meters from the sea, is not allowed to have a pergola in the uncovered terrace.
- In one case, the fencing off is prohibited so the yard has ended up being used for “beach parties” by others, ignoring the dangers posed to the tenants.
- A mobile construction, based on plans submitted to the competent authority for access over rocks to the sea was rejected, thus depriving the public of the direct and safe access to the sea.
- Properties within the protection zone can not be developed, so they should be expropriated by the state, or be allowed to develop them, which is what normally with some form of relaxation, because the state has no money to pay millions in compensation. So, in one case the owner of a holiday home outside the protection zone who would have expected to have unobstructed views to the sea, now has a building block going up in front of it with the blessing of the state that wants to reduce the amount of compensation it has to pay.
- The owner of home on two plots with a yard (including the protection zone), can not build a swimming pool, albeit underground.
- In the case of a dead-end road, the owner was not allowed an access road or a parking space because the zone and the local authority insisted, for the construction of a road within the property that lies outside the protected zone.
-A restaurant owner was not allowed to place tables allowed, shade tents, etc. within this zone, causing the establishment to fall outside the beach area, unlike Greece where the opposite occurs
For this reason, I believe that the competent authority should be allowed, with the approval of the Planning Dept., to allow modifications or relaxations of at least 30% of the protected zone.
Also, the same procedure should allow the construction of buildings within the zone, if they do not cause any obstruction, such as a height, pavements, etc.
The local authorities should also be able to issue permits for changes within the zone, when the buildings within the zone do not operate properly.
If we had been a state with endless resources, perhaps this situation would be acceptable to a certain extent. But the absolute regulations of this zone are causing serious damage to the involved owners and thus forcing the state to compensate them or in exchange offers relaxations, it limits the rights of the property owner, and may not serve the purpose for which this zone exists.
A review of the present situation and the existence of flexibility, will certainly contribute to better growth and cut the nonsense within the construction sector caused because of this rigidity.
enclosure up 1.50m.