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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Tassos government ‘bypassed procedures’ to allow golf course desalination ]

Tassos government ‘bypassed procedures’ to allow golf course desalination

TASSOS Papadopoulos’ Cabinet side-stepped a ruling by the Building Relaxations Council and went ahead with the approval of private desalination units for golf courses, Politis newspaper reported yesterday.

With its decision number 66,126 in October 2007, Papadopoulos’ Cabinet violated a decision by the Council and essentially stripped it of its powers provided by town-planning laws for the approval of private desalination units for watering golf courses, the paper claimed.

This came at a time when Cyprus began going through serious water shortages, as well as the financial burden of international increases in oil prices; this, coupled with the previous government’s delay in importing liquid natural gas, led to a drastic increase in electricity prices and a lack of electricity over the summer last year.

According to local development plans, desalination plants are Category B industrial developments, meaning they cause limited disturbance.

Therefore most desalination plants for golf courses in Cyprus can only get town-planning permission through an exemption from the Relaxations Council.

The council is an independent body made up of people involved in the development business and it approves exceptions to local development plans, but only under strict criteria.

Lanitis Development Ltd was one of the companies that applied for an exemption during the previous government in order to construct a private desalination plant in Kouklia’s Ranti Forest for a golf course.

The Relaxations Council opposed the application in 2007. But at around the same time, the Cabinet approved a proposal by the Agriculture Ministry and suggestion by the Town Planning Department, which exempted businessmen who wished to build desalination plants for golf courses from having to go through the Council.

And so golf course owners got their town-planning permission; especially taking into consideration the fact that the government was at the time offering generous motives for the creation of golf course as a means to improve tourism.

The head of Technical Chamber ETEK, Linos Chrysostomou, expressed his opposition to the Cabinet decision during an interview with Politis newspaper yesterday.

He said the decision contradicted town-planning laws, which forwards these applications to the Relaxations Council as the specific plants are not included in the specific areas’ development plans.

Chrysostomou said it was a clear by-pass of the Council.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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