The Administrative Court has rejected an appeal filed by a bishopric claiming that a Town Planning Department decision to stop the building of an animal farm on Natura 2000 land in Paphos was unconstitutional.
The Judge said that the church (in its broader sense) has no legal right to insist on developments that clash with Town Planning policy as well as with national and EU legislation on the protection of the environment, and explained that European legislation supersedes the national one.
The Church had argued that the Constitution prescribes against withholding or placing rules or limitations on its property without its consent, except in the case of purely planning restrictions.
The judge explained that the Town Planning Department’s decision was based on planning restrictions, namely that the plot at hand is located within the protected Natura 2000 zone where such development cannot be allowed.
He added that based on the constitution and partly EU legislation no permission is required from the Church for planning matters.