DISY MP Andreas Kyprianou has left hints that some Urban Planning Officers receive bribes from investors to grant them planning permits.
Specifically, Kyprianou said that the procedures for granting planning permits are extremely slow and this leads some investors to bribe Urban Planning Officers in order to grant them permits earlier.
“I’m not saying that there is bribing but that could be the case. If an investment of €50 million is delayed, the investor – rather than delaying his investment – can just give someone €10,000 to get the job done,” he said.
Kyprianou added that the state is missing out on funds because of these slow processes.
Many citizens and entrepreneurs have cancelled building plans because their applications were not examined in time by planning authorities, Union of Cyprus Communities Secretary Panayiotis Damianou said.
President of the Cyprus Scientific and Technical Chamber Constantinos Constanti argued that the laws regarding planning permissions are complicated and that they are pushing for their simplification.
He said that the existing model for granting planning permits is bankrupt and that it is inconceivable that it could take up to 18 months to get a permit.
“I called Strovolos Municipality to ask if a final approval certificate was issued, five months after the completion of a construction, and they answered ‘Are you serious? You want your certificate issued in five months?'”