An environmental impact assessment study concerning the construction of a church in the grounds of Paphos town hall has been completed and uploaded to Paphos municipality’s website, according to a spokesman.
Members of the public now have 20 days to raise any questions or comments with the firm responsible for the report.
“In the context of transparency and to facilitate the information for the public, the municipality of Paphos has posted on its website www.pafos.org.cy the study for the construction of the church of the Holy Metropolis of Paphos in the public garden,” the spokesman said.
He explained that, according to the law, the Church had to proceed with a study which was undertaken by a private company, P.Nicolaides and Associates Ltd, once completed, it must then proceed to public discussion where comments, suggestions and questions may be made.
However, due to the restrictions in place due to the pandemic, public meetings are not permitted, and so the municipality decided to uploaded the report to the website for all those wishing to read it and email in any questions or comments to the company responsible for the study.
“It is clarified and emphasised that the public can submit any comments and suggestions only to the e-mail address or fax of the company responsible and not to the municipality of Paphos or its website on which the study has been posted exclusively for informational purposes,” he said.
The study presents in detail the description and characteristics of the project, the location, the surrounding area, the physical characteristics of the study area, and an analysis of all environmental parameters that may be affected.
The Paphos Green party said they were currently studying the report and would make any relevant comments once completed.
The project proposed by the Bishop of Paphos split the community with those in favour of the Church’s plans and others bitterly opposed, demanding that it’s kept as a green area or a playground for children.
Paphos municipal council initially rejected a proposal to build a new church in the gardens of the town hall by a majority vote, following a request by Edek councillors, the matter was raised again, and 11 councillors voted in favour.
The disagreement began after the public gardens were returned to the owners, the Church of Cyprus, when a long-term agreement expired in 2005. The Church had rented it to the municipality on a long lease and instead of continuing the agreement, as the municipality had hoped, the Church expressed a desire to build a church on the grounds instead.
Under the freedom of information act, information and access to all documents and information related to the application should be available to the public.
Interested members of the public may submit comments and suggestions to the e-mail address of the company: [email protected] or to the fax 22312519 within a period of 20 days.
Public invited for opinion over development strategy
meanwhile, the municipalities of Paphos and Geroskipou are requesting the public’s input in order that possible EU funding may contribute to development.
“The two municipalities are regarded as one for this study and usually there would be an open forum held where the public could put forward their ideas , exchange opinions, listen and discuss, but due to coronavirus, it’s is not possible to carry that out this time, so, a questionnaire is available online for those that wish to express their views,” a spokesman for the municipality told the Cyprus Mail.
Citizens will contribute to the preparation of the Strategy of Integrated Spatial Development of the Wider Urban Area, of the two municipalities for the programming period 2021-2027.
The public will fill in a special questionnaire, through which they may express views on the needs of the region, and the Strategy and the Priority Axes until 2027, as well as proposals that they believe will contribute to the development of the region.
“This programme has given priority to certain access areas, there are six or seven such as, smart cities, environment and water, it becomes apparent when filling in the questions,” he said.
The questionnaire (in Greek) is posted on the websites of the municipalities of Paphos and Geroskipou, www.pafos.org.cy and https://geroskipou.org.cy/ respectively.
The submission of answers must be completed by Monday, January 18, 2021 and in one of two ways; by completing and submitting the questionnaire through the platform located on the websites at the link https://forms.gle / WCPiKwmNSNGhnnA3A.
Alternatively, after being printed, the form can be completed and sent to: Municipality of Paphos, 28th of October Square, PO Box. 60032 – 8100 Paphos. The responsible officer is Doxa Economidou.