NICOSIA - Three Municipalities and sixteen communities in the districts of Larnaca and Limassol will benefit from the agreement signed on Wednesday between the Cypriot government and the British government, which allows increased flexibility to develop private property within the Sovereign British Bases Area (SBA) in Cyprus, Minister of the Interior Socratis Hasikos has said.
The agreement was announced earlier on Wednesday following a meeting between Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and British Prime Minister David Cameron in London.
Hasikos said that under the agreement Cyprus and the British Bases will cooperate to define the town planning zones and the policy on developments in the said areas which lie within the boundaries of the SBA. He noted that areas of military installations are excluded.
The agreement stipulates that the Cypriot authorities can issue development licenses following the consent of the SBA authorities, he explained, noting that property rights as well as the procedures of the Department of Land Registry will continue to be recognized.
Restrictions on development projects (for commercial and industrial use) which are now in place will be lifted and the sale and purchase of land will be allowed.
He said the agreement allows the sale of property within the SBA to non-local Greek Cypriots, European citizens and non EU-nationals, in accordance with Cyprus legislation.
Hasikos noted that infrastructure projects costs will be assumed by the Republic of Cyprus whereas the two sides will discuss ways to share costs if military installations benefit from such infrastructure works.
He also noted that under the agreement civil and criminal offenses that take place in the SBA will be examined by Cyprus Courts.
"The signing of this agreement confirms Cyprus` long-standing view that the SBA exist in Cyprus only for military purposes," he said.
Britain, a former colonial power, has retained two military bases in Cyprus and several sites after it granted the island its independence in 1960.
Meanwhile the Sovereign Base Area Administration has also welcomed the agreement. It said it was delighted to announce that the UK Government has signed an arrangement with the Republic of Cyprus Government that will allow residents an increased flexibility to develop private property within the British Sovereign Bases.
"This arrangement will give greater freedom to residents that live within the Bases, whilst at the same time safeguards the UK’s effective operation of the Bases to meet its military needs. The signing of this arrangement illustrates the excellent cooperation that exists between the two Governments to ensure the effective operation of the Bases," it said.