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Conversion Of Premises In Cyprus

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Information on the permits required for the conversion of premises in Cyprus

Lysos Village                                        Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk

Planning Permission and Development
    
Before the commencement of any premises' development it is necessary to obtain a planning permission for the conversion of premises and/or the relevant building/construction works.

In accordance with the Town and Country Planning Law, development is defined as:

"The carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under immovable property, or the making of any material change in the use of any building or other immovable property."

If there is any doubt as to whether a planning permission is needed for a particular type of development, it is possible to submit an application (A.F.9) for determination to the Planning Authority.

For certain types of development, which are defined in the General or Special Development Orders, it is not necessary to submit an application for planning permission since such permission is considered as automatically given. It should, however, be noted that it is still necessary to obtain a building permit before the commencement of any building works.

In other cases defined in the relevant Development Order, it is necessary to obtain an approval from the Planning Authority for any planning issues relating to a certain development. In such cases, the applicant shall submit the application directly to the Appropriate Local Authority which in turn must seek the approval of the Planning Authority.

Information on Planning Zones, Development Plans

The maps and plans, which are integral parts of published Development Plans, as well as detailed Planning Zones, are available to the public at the Offices of the Planning Authorities and of the District Administrations.

Such information is also available at the offices of Municipalities and Community Councils as regards their respective area. The public may purchase copies of the published Development Plans from the Government Printing Office or its agents and dealers. The development plans are also available at the website of the Department of Town Planning and Housing (www.moi.gov.cy/tph).

The staff of the Planning Authorities will make the plans available to any interested citizens and provide necessary information or indicate where more detailed information may be obtained.

Application Procedure

Applications for planning permission may be submitted by the owner or authorised representative (the application must be signed by all co-owners of the property for which the application is made), to the competent Planning Authority.

The application should be submitted in three copies and shall consist of the relevant form, completed and signed (click here for the types of forms available) and accompanied by the following original and recent documents:

certificate of registration of the immovable property;

three sets of architectural plans and topographical master plan, signed by the owner of the immovable property and the responsible architect/civil engineer;

cadastral plans;

title of deeds or bank certificate regarding mortgaged property;

certificate of incorporation of company (in case the applicant is a legal entity);

certificate of registered office address (in case the applicant is a legal entity);

certificate of directors and secretary (in case the applicant is a legal entity);

certificate of shareholders (in case the applicant is a legal entity);

certified copy of memorandum & articles of association (in case the applicant is a legal entity);

proxy statement for the company's representative (in case the applicant is a legal entity);

application fee (payable either by cash or check) depending on the type of development (see Applicable Fees in related documents).

In certain cases the application for a town planning permit should be accompanied by specialized studies, such as Environmental Impact Assessment Study, Traffic Impact & Management Assessment Study, Study of Assessment of Trade and Social Impact.

Applications may be submitted at the Customer Service of the Planning Authority, which is staffed with qualified officers, upon payment of the prescribed fees according to the type and scale of the development. If, at a later stage, it proves that the fees paid was less than those prescribed, the applicant may be asked to pay additional fees. The Planning Authority shall always issue a receipt for the fees paid.

The Planning Authority shall send, as soon as possible, a notification of receipt of the application to the applicant or an authorised representative. The notification shall inform the applicant of any obvious omissions in the application, so he/she may complete them. The notification shall contain the contact phone number at which the applicant may call to obtain information about the application.

Consideration of Applications

The Planning Authority shall assess the development for which an application is submitted, in accordance with the provisions of the Development Plan and having regard to any other material consideration relating to the application.

In many cases, the Planning Authority does not have any discretion over the development and may be forced to deny the granting of the licence in case of no conformity of the basic provisions of the Development Plan.

In accordance with relevant regulations, the Planning Authority must come to a decision with respect to an application within a period of three months from its submission. Nevertheless, sometimes it is not possible to comply with the three-month deadline for various reasons which arise from the need for the solution of various important problems with respect to the development or for the collection of data which is necessary for the decision-making process. In such a case, it will be necessary to extent the period of consideration of the application. The authorisation shall not be deemed to have been granted if the Town Planning Authority has not replied within the period specified.

In order to reach its decision, the Planning Authority often consults with other Authorities or bodies for the collection of all the data necessary for reaching a decision. Delays during the consultation often cause delays in reaching a planning decision, especially when the views of certain consultees are of great importance.

The town planning permit issued by the Planning Authority is valid for a period of three years from the date of issue, unless otherwise stated on the licence, depending on special conditions of the development.

The Department of Town Planning and Housing, in its effort to simplify and facilitate the process of the issuance of the town planning permit, has developed a web portal through which the applicant can get consistent overview of its application for applications submited after 29/10/2007; the so called “public access” facility available and a web based tool for fee calculations available.

Source PSC

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