Planning Amnesty in Cyprus - Title Deeds

As widely anticipated, an extension to the Town Planning Amnesty and a simplification of the procedure has been approved by Cyprus parliament.

The changes approved by parliament are that:


Statement of Intent application conditions

The Town Planning Amnesty only applies to “existing buildings” which, according to article 10D of the Streets and Building (Revised) Law 2011, are those that have a Planning and/or a Building Permit (although they may have expired). The building must have been completed before the above law came into force on 7th April 2011.

Applications must be accompanied by a ‘Statutory Declaration’ made by the applicant.

When the period during which Statements of Intent may be submitted ends on 6th April 2012, applicants will have until 7th October 2014 to apply to the relevant Town Planning or Building Authority to obtain a Certificate of Final Completion for the building.

Purchasers may submit applications by attaching a stamped copy of their Contract of Sale to the application.


Preparing and submitting a Statement of Intent

DEPENDING on the nature and extent of planning infringement, applicants will need to submit either a Statement of Intent under the provisions of the Town and Country Planning Law or a Statement of Intent under the provisions of the Streets and Buildings Regulations Law:


The Town and Country Planning Law

Excessive density should be 30% of the allowed density and no more than 10% outside the approved envelope.

A penalty will be payable, corresponding to a fraction of the value of the land area that should exist for the building to be legal. Alternatively, density can be transferred from another plot (which then becomes public property) or from a listed building. A 20% discount will apply for applications submitted during the first year and 10% for those submitted in the second year.

Note that planning irregularities such as excessive coverage, building height, number of floors, distances from boundaries, changes to the layout of buildings etc. can be accepted under certain circumstances. No penalty is payable for these irregularities but corrective measures will be required.

Town and Country Planning Law Statement of Intent Application form – includes the required ‘Statutory Declaration’.


The Streets and Buildings Regulations Law

Small scale excess density can be allowed to the building up to a maximum 10% of the permitted density and half of it to be included in the building envelope.

The penalties imposed are the same as those of the Town and Country Planning Law.

Minor changes can be covered like excessive building height, changes to the internal layout of the building, changes to the doors and windows and other architectural characteristics.

 Streets and Buildings Regulations Law Statement of Intent Application form – includes the required ‘Statutory Declaration’.

(Please complete the Greek language part of the above document. The English language translation is provided for guidance only).


Deciding which application to submit

APPLICANTS need to compare the approved plans, attached to the Planning Permit and/or the Building Permit, against what has been built.

Applicants may wish to use the services of an  ETEK registered Architect or Civil Engineer to assist – contact two or three to get competitive quotations.


Obtaining planning and building permit

DISTRICT and Municipal office will provide certified copies of Planning/Building permits and approved drawings for €27.

Where the applicant is a purchaser, they will need the number of the Planning/Building permit, a copy of their contract and proof of their identity (an ID card or passport).

Purchasers who are unable to obtain the number of their Planning/Building permit from their developer, building contractor or architect should speak with the planning officer responsible for their area who should be able to advise and provide them with a certified copy of the documents.
Penalty payments

AS mentioned above, fines will be payable that correspond to a fraction of the value of the land that should exist for the building to be legal.

Penalty payments have been published for buildings in  Nicosia town,  Nicosia villages,  Paphos town,  Paphos villages,  Famagusta (all areas),  Larnaca town,  Larnaca villages,  Limassol town and the  Limassol villages.

Note that the penalty payment tables are in Greek, but it is relatively straightforward to translate their contents using  Google Translate or  Yahoo Babel Fish.


Notes

It is important to appreciate that the temporary provisions of the Town Planning Amnesty is designed to address specific problems described in the law and only applies to planning irregularities impossible to resolve using other procedures.

Applicants can be buyers of individual units in a complex who are encouraged to apply together.

Applicants are advised that  serious planning infringements that are outside the scope of the amnesty could result in in the authorities issuing a ‘Certificate of Unauthorised Works’ that will result in the Land Registry registering a note against the title prohibiting the transfer of the property until that infringement has been corrected. (But beneficiaries can inherit the property by Will).

Completed ‘Statements of Intent’ and accompanying documentation should be sent to the Ministry of the Interior.