Illegal additions to a hotel under construction in Ayia Napa will be demolished, the resort’s mayor Yiannis Karousos assured MPs on Monday, saying the municipality did not tolerate illegalities.
His counterpart from Polis Chrysochous Yiotis Papachristofi denied there was anything illegal about a Latchi hotel with an extra floor and argued that ‘other interests’ were trying to block a much needed facility that will create jobs in the area.
The ‘extra’ construction at the two hotels was discussed in the House Interior Committee on Monday.
Committee chairman Eleni Mavrou calling for decisive action as the extension at the Ayia Napa hotel currently under construction had increased capacity by 50% by building, among other, in green areas.
She said both the municipality and the Town Planning authority could have been more decisive given that the specific project was in violation of a court injunction.
“We want to see measures being taken soon,” she said.
The owners of the hotel had secured a building permit for five storeys but built eight prompting legal action from the Town Planning Authority and Ayia Napa municipality. The company which owns the hotel has appealed and its appeal is currently before a ministerial committee.
Karousos said that the municipality had responded quickly, securing an injunction suspending work and a court decision to demolish all the illegalities. This was secured a few days ago after the two month grace period given by the court passed.
“Legality must be completely restored and at the same time we must not give the message to anyone that they can build what they want and then legalise it,” he said.
The legal measures will be effective and will lead to the demolition of the illegal buildings, he said.
The municipality had taken legal action against many who had committed illegalities, he added.
Polis Chrysochous mayor said his area needed tourist developments, as he said there are only two hotels — a two star and a three star hotel.
“Some people want to serve some interests,” he said. “In our area primary schools are closing, the young people are leaving because there are no jobs and we praise and want tourist developments that respect the environment,” Papachristofi said.
And he called on the Town Planning Department to issue the permit so that the hotel can operate and help the area.
“There is no illegality. It is perhaps the only hotel in Cyprus that has the smallest illegality, possibly an excess of 50 square metres,” he said.
Some 10 days ago, the director of the town planning department Kyriakos Koundouros told the House Institutions Committee that a town planning permit for the newly built hotel in Latchi will only be issued once sections are demolished.
The hotel was completed two years ago but has not opened because authorities have refused to issue a permit because of illegal construction.
The hotel owner was initially given a permit to build two floors only, then he was authorized to build another two when the town planning zone was changed from rural to a tourist zone. He eventually built five floors.