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18 July, 2024
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Government takes bold steps to speed up construction approvals

Cyprus to scrap permits for small developments


The Ministry of Interior in Cyprus is on a mission to simplify the development control system by implementing a comprehensive package of 22 measures in collaboration with the Cyprus Scientific and Technical Chamber (CSTC).

As Philenews reports, scheduled for completion by July 1, this initiative aims to eliminate urban planning and building permits for small developments, especially for houses and buildings with up to 12 apartments.

In the past, obtaining even simple permits led to prolonged waiting times, sometimes stretching for months or even years. While efforts have been made to streamline procedures, persistent delays have inconvenienced citizens, hindering prompt construction commencement.

Interior Minister Konstantinos Ioannou considers this package as the most significant restructuring of urban planning licensing. He states, "The actions taken will significantly alleviate the current major problem of delays, which is a burden on developments. Especially with the abolition of urban planning and building permits for small developments and greater involvement of private architects, development completion is expedited, allowing citizens to proceed with their schedules."

Digitization plays a key role in this transformation, with the "Hippodamus" System facilitating the electronic submission and examination of urban planning applications. Advance consultations with various services such as the Fire Department, Water Development Department, Environmental Authority, and the Public Works Department are expected to reduce delays in application reviews.

Recognizing the challenge of understaffing in Planning Authorities, the Ministry of Interior has hired 105 individuals in collaboration with Municipal Authorities. These individuals, to be trained and staffed in Provincial Self-Government Organizations, will process pending applications, with the first 35 starting on January 15.

To address inconsistencies in application review practices, a working group from relevant Departments and CSTC is developing a standard/examination handbook.

This handbook will guide all Provincial Self-Government Organizations, ensuring uniformity and expediting decision-making processes. The changes represent a significant leap forward in overcoming bureaucratic hurdles and ushering in a new era of efficient urban planning in Cyprus.

[With information sourced from Philenews]

Cyprus  |  build  |  permit  |  construction  |  ministry

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