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Environment department rejects Pera Pedi development

first_imgThe environment department has rejected a plan for the development of a large forest area in the Limassol village of Pera Pedi on the Troodos range, reports said on Saturday.Media reports said the department has put a halt on the development, which involved an expanse totalling almost 200,000 square metres, of which construction would cover more than 24,000 square metres, including a hotel, a spa, five villas, a church, and a horse stable.According to the reports, the department said the development would irreparably and irreversibly affect the geomorphology and biodiversity in the area by razing over 2,100 pine trees – “an unprecedented deforestation by Cypriot standards.”The department also raises the risk of pollution of the water in the Kouris reservoir considering that the development is close to the Pera Pedi dam.The issue, which emerged late last year, also took a political hue after it transpired that land belonging to President Nicos Anastasiades and his family was included in the large tract of forest acquired by Parnitha Development Ltd, a company first set up in 1979 but now belonging to one Leonid Buryy, who has been granted Cypriot citizenship.The president owned approximately one-twelfth of a 83,279 square metre parcel in Pera Pedi which the developers bought. The company’s acquisition of the land involved purchasing some of the real estate from the president’s brother and sister.In the wake of the political controversy after the reveal, Anastasiades denied any wrongdoing and requested that the auditor-general investigate the case.The audit office said it uncovered no evidence that Anastasiades unduly influenced or stood to gain financially from a planned development.In its report, the audit office confirmed that the share of parcel 57 that was registered under Anastasiades’ name is not included in the planned development project.It also found no evidence of suspicious dealings between Anastasiades’ relatives and the developers.The price (per square metre) at which the plots were sold by the president’s relatives to the company were in line with – and in some cases lower than – the prices of adjacent parcels, some of which formed part of the planned development and others did not.Moreover, the auditor-general found that the share of the parcel owned by the president is not eligible for development because it lacks any road access, per regulations. This could change in the future, the report added.However, the report does point out an irregularity, in that the planning application for the development filed to the Limassol district town planning office on January 17, 2017 is not signed – as it ought to be – by all the registered owners of the land slated for the development.Specifically, the signature missing from the application is that of Anastasiades. His signature is required as well, because formally he is still part-owner of parcel 57, pending approval of a separate application for separation of the parcel’s plots.“It is, therefore, our position that the [planning] application should not have been advanced without Mr Anastasiades’ signature,” the audit office said.The report also raises questions about the granting of Cypriot citizenship to the Russian national  Buryy and his spouse via the investment-for-citizenship scheme.The citizenships were approved by a cabinet decision on December 14, 2015.Citizenship is granted to foreign nationals who buy a residence in Cyprus worth at least €500,000 and who “demonstrably participate in a special collective investment scheme, provided that the total value of the investment is at least €12.5 million.”The ‘collective investment scheme’ was the criterion by which Buryy and his spouse received Cypriot citizenship.But according to the audit office, the investments for which the naturalisations were approved appear to be unrelated, and therefore cannot be considered a collective investment scheme, and thus should have made the applicants ineligible for Cypriot citizenship.You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoBOLT InsuranceCompare and Save on Auto InsuranceBOLT InsuranceUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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