Questions have been raised over a four-storey hotel that has sprung up in the Latchi area of Paphos, taking up a prominent place on the small community’s seaside hills.
As reported by Philelefheros on Thursday, the authorities have acknowledged the hotel was built without a relevant permit but noted one had now been approved and would be issued within the coming days. The paper also revealed that the authorities did not take legal action to prevent construction and allowed the hotel to be built to a height of four storeys even though the majority of other buildings in the area are no more that two storeys high.
Polis Chrysochous Municipal Engineer Spyros Spyrou confirmed that the hotel was built without a building permit but said one had been approved and would be issued in a matter of days. He revealed the permit had not been issued earlier because the official handling the inspection of the hotel’s biological waste facilities was arrested as part of the Koshi (Hyti) Landfill scandal.
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On why the municipality did not take legal action to prevent construction from continuing in the meantime, Spyrou said that similar efforts in the past had failed to bring about the desired results. He also explained that by the time the court would have been able to view the case, the hotel would have in any case already have been built.
Paphos district Town Planning official Elena Christofidou, meanwhile, told the paper the head of the Town Planning Department had approved two additional floors being added to what would have originally been a two-storey development.
The structure, which according to Phileleftheros is owned by a Russian national and a Greek Cypriot, was also reportedly awarded a higher building co-efficient in line with a Cabinet-decision to support hoteliers.
Urban planning for the area includes provisions for structures surpassing two stories “when necessary and/or desirable” provided other property owners and facilities are not inconvenienced. Architects approached by Phileleftheros, however, suggested the hotel in question would impact its neighbours.
Also, while everyone appears to be falling in line in connection to permits and other paperwork, residents of the area and advocates for the conservation of the community–particularly given its proximity to Akamas– are concerned the new hotel will open the way for other large-scale structures to be built in the relatively unspoiled area.