Football club THOI Lakatamia built pitches on Pedieos riverbed without acquiring planning permission, according to a report by Ombudsman Maria Lottidou.
Specifically, in 2001, the club requested permission to build a sports complex with two football pitches (a main one and a smaller one for training), stands, dressing rooms, press boxes, bathrooms, a gym, canteen offices, storage rooms and a parking lot.
However, when the permit application was submitted, the above facilities were already existent and were operating normally at the location.
Phileleftheros reports that, to help the club, the cabinet in 2003 decided to authorise the Town Planning Department to grant a permission for the facilities, under terms and conditions that the Cyprus Sports Association set.
According to the Town Planning Department, THOI never applied those terms and in 2006, the Department’s director sent a letter to the club saying that the permit application was rejected. The letter also said that THOI intervened on state land and that they had to apply for a new permission by way of derogation.
Subsequently, in May 2018 the Planning Department inspected the premises and found out that the club had built three new futsal pitches and a supporting structure in a part of the riverbed.
In a letter sent on April 23, 2018 the Water Development Department informed the Attorney General that despite previous warnings, the club had gone ahead with new illegal constructions in Pedieos’ riverbed, by building a new stadium and doing earthwork to build another one.
The District Engineer asked the Attorney General to take legal action against the club.
Pedieos is the longest river in Cyprus. It has a total length of 98km.