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17 July, 2024
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Illegal construction in Akamas linked to wealthy businessman with political ties

Photographic evidence reveals unauthorized holiday home in the heart of Akamas

An investigation conducted by "K" has shed light on eight instances of illegal construction in Akamas, with two cases already in court proceedings. A report published by Kathimerini Sunday disclosed that one of these illicit structures is suspected to be owned by a prominent local businessman with political connections. Although the property is registered under the name N.L., supposedly a farmer, the activities surrounding the site suggest the involvement of a person with significant financial resources, as evidenced by the costly, recently installed iron fence alone amounting to several thousand euros.

Eyewitnesses have reported regular water deliveries via tankers, indicating efforts to conceal the existence of the building. The owner has employed camouflage tactics by planting trees and covering the roof with dry bushes. Notably, during the court hearing for the illegal construction case, the (real) owner claimed that the building was constructed on the site of a former agricultural shed, which has since been restored. However, this assertion contradicts historical records of the plot, as confirmed by sources from the Town Planning Department. Reliable information from "K" asserts that the actual owner is a prominent landowner who dominates the Pegeia area and invests in high-value properties, including hotels. It is worth noting that the construction near his investment site has faced opposition from the Department of Environment.

The camouflaged cottage in the heart of Akamas

Compelling photographic evidence clearly reveals the presence of a ground-floor stone house constructed in an area near Lara Beach, which bears no resemblance to temporary animal shelters. The images depict a residential structure intended for habitation. Notably, the owner has fenced off the premises, transforming it into a garden with trees, and strategically covered the roof with dry branches to avoid detection by satellite imagery, a technology utilized by government agencies.

The owner installed security fencing and barbed wire which is deemed illegal for the area.

Dry branches have been placed on the roof, apparently to avoid being detected by satellite images, a technology used by government agencies, while a fireplace has also been built, which is strictly prohibited in Natura 2000 zones.

The eight illegal constructions

As indicated by satellite maps, eight instances of illegal construction have occurred within the predominantly protected Akamas Forest area. It is evident from the images that these buildings bear no resemblance to temporary animal shelters. Two of the constructions are situated within the administrative boundaries of the municipality of Ineia, according to the Planning Department. The department confirmed that on-site inspections were carried out during the pandemic period in response to complaints. An official from the Planning Department, accompanied by an engineer and an Environment Department representative, visited the Akamas area and discovered the completion of two houses, unrelated to animal shelters or sheds, in violation of the restricted development area. For the remaining six cases, it is unclear whether they involved the conversion of existing structures or the construction of new dwellings from scratch.

Cyprus  |  Akamas

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