Planning policy for the rural areas is being dramatically overhauled after Interior Minister signed a new policy statement introducing radical changes. Effectively, whoever has the money and large expanses of land, will be able to practically build whole villages.
This change of policy is being implemented for the first time within the framework of the new “policy statement’ which was made public earlier this week and follows pressure exerted by large land developers who took their case to the President of the Republic.The government is creating new communities, which will look like little towns with restaurants, shops, hotels, travel agencies and everything else one can usually find in a town. This is expected to operate against the interests of existing communities. The policy statement makes use of strategic developments (hospitals, educational institutions and sport facilities) to open the road for investors to be given a building co-efficient of up to 25% which, under conditions may go as far as 35%, multiplying the value of the areas that will be used or sold to other investors. For implementation of the policy that includes the chapter “Unified developments for large and composite uses,” reference is made to the “strategic objectives of the state to establish Cyprus as an international and regional investment and business centre.” Investors will be able to build houses, offices, shops etc on condition that they operate for example a “health and beauty” college or a small hospital or university.
The residential developments which will generate the profit for the businessmen are described as “complementary uses”. According to the policy statement, for unified developments to be implemented, it is considered necessary to offer incentives to enrich the projects.
Such developments are:
Single residential complex:
The single residential complex (that is purely residential) is adapted to the space and offers organised parking areas. The aim is to create a very high quality residence. The housing units are intended not only for those working at the hospitals, shops etc of the project, but also for users of the space, something which opens the door for anyone considered a user of the services of the development to acquire a home.
Multiple activities area:
The multiple activities area will constitute a comprehensive whole which will include various activities, uses and green areas. The space can include the following:
-Small-scale commercial facilities to cater primarily for the users of the project which may include other related activities such as workshops for traditional products and folk art
- Small -scale office facilities to primarily serve the users of the project, for example insurance/travel agencies/ bank branches etc.
- Conference centre, meeting facilities, high tech facilities and research centre
- Small-scale ancillary facilities for recreation to primarily serve the users of the project (eg restaurants and cafes)
- Tourist accommodation which can include hotels, tourist village, tourist villas complex or organised flats, or a combination of the above.
Wellness centres can be incorporated into any of the strategic uses. A wellness centre can be considered a development which offers scientific services for physical, mental and spiritual wellness through specialised treatment, physiotherapy etc.
Preconditions for free building co-efficient:
The developments referred to below will be implemented outside the development limits, but can also be sited in zones for holiday homes.
It is worth noting that permitted construction in the rural areas and outside the development areas to the present, was a single home for first residence, and this subject to conditions.
The strategic uses that are vehicles for construction include:
This category includes educational institutions of all levels. It can include primary or secondary schools, vocational training colleges or universities.
There must be at least two levels of educational institutions here except in the case of universities which are considered to be independent. Vocational training colleges include specialised training and research progammes of various types which can operate independently or to be inter-connected or with recognised educational institutions.
Examples given are nurses schools, beauty and health training, hotel and catering etc. The development includes all the necessary sport installations and catering and recreation facilities for pupils/students and personnel. In addition, it can include an in door gym, a kindergarten, a crèche, a dispensary as well as areas for the educational and social events of the institutions. The project can also include a number of different types of student housing in direct and operational link to the university or training college which will exclusively serve the housing needs of a number of students.
• Private hospital
The development can include a private hospital or a large polyclinic with at least 30 beds for medical care.
In the case of a private hospital, there will be an intensive care unit and a high level diagnostic centre. Every hospital can in addition have research labs as well as facilities to provide medical care and residence to senior citizens.
• Large medical
and diagnositic centres
This is a development without beds of medical care which includes at least three medical specialties which must be combined with a large medical diagnostic centre. It will include an MRI, mammography, ultrasound etc.
• R&D Centres
Centres for high tech research and development (R&D) include telecommunications, microelectronics, intelligent automatic control systems, biomedical technology, robotics and software development in combination with an area for experiments and trials.
The project can include small scale supportive uses such as a small café/restaurant, a shop with basic staples a small dispensary, etc.
multi-use sports centres
This category must include an indoor sports hall for team sports, at least basketball and volleyball, with stands so that it can be used for championship games, as well as ancillary areas such as changing rooms, toilets and first aid room. The sports centre will also include facilities for individual sports and will be combined with open landscaped green areas and children’s play areas.
• Culture and
These can include various types of museums, amphitheatre, halls for cultural events and educational programmes, conference rooms, exhibition halls for art works, traditional workshops promoting local culture, conference centre etc.
• Works to enhance the environment
The projects include expanses of open area, Cyprus flora and fauna parks, green areas, pavements, cycle paths, extensive tree planting etc. They will be based on a comprehensive design of bioclimatic architecture, environmental enhancement and management.
The execution of projects aiming at safeguarding, protecting and upgrading the noteworthy aspects of land development, such as the existing vegetation, is included within the same framework.