Buying agricultural land

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Joined: 31 Jan 2011 20:28

Buying agricultural land

Post by Doog »

In 2011 I think it was, an unexpected announcement was made by Town Planning concerning a new law which severely restricted development on agricultural plots, such as you had to show a connection to the area,couldn't already own a house and no build more than 1.5 km from the village. A certain well known Estate agent even threated to take the Ministry to court.

I managed to get an interview with a senior planning officer in Paphos District this year to find out what the situation really was, so thought I would share this info with you.

There is NO LAW. The changes have come in a procedural memo from The Ministry of the Interior, Nicosia. It will become law in time.
No build allowed more than 1.5km from the village, measured from the village centre.
1 house only per plot no matter how large the plot is.
Access or right of access must be in place.
Companies not allowed to build on agricultural land, only individuals.
Single storey and no more than 200m2 cover.
Owner has to pay all the costs to take electricity and water to the plot.
Whether approval is given for development will depend on environment, flora, protected areas.
if "clusters" of other houses exist in the vicinity of the plot then approval is more likely.
Press reports of having to show one has an attachment to the area or being an existing house owner is Cyprus is not relevant.
The officer STRESSED that if I was thinking about buying an agricultural plot to build on, then I should make a request in writing for a decision on whether they would allow planning permission and I should wait for their written reply. DON'T BUY BEFORE GETTING THEIR REPLY.

I note their are hundreds of agricultural plots for sale in the Paphos district, some at very hefty prices, so it is worth proceeding with caution before signing a contract of sale.
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Re: Buying agricultural land

Post by Nigel Howarth »

Hi Doog,

Many thanks for the heads up.

Nigel Howarth
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Re: Buying agricultural land

Post by Pantheman »


that's useful however, my understanding is somewhat a little different and I would suspect that different districts would make different interpretations.

So, this is where we differ:

1. The distance from the residential area is within 500m (you say 1.5km from centre, but who defines where the centre is?)
2. Getting a written opinion is just that, it is not a guarantee and if you were to buy on the strength of this and things changed in the mean time you could lose out. The only guarantee is the actual permission.
3. They made it law in 2014/2015 but due to pressure from interest groups and interested persons the ministry was forced to withdraw it pending a revised version of the law. The planning departments were instructed to follow the current rules rather than just issue permits.
4. I disagree with the fact that your connection or non-connection is irrelevant, because within the rules, (that they are now adhering to) you would have had to have been the owner since before 1989 (before the law change at that time) or the land would have had to have been in the family since that time.
5. being from the area and having no other land within the residential zone is also a must.
6. Zoning is important too, since getting a permit in zone Z1 (protected 6%) may be more difficult than getting a permit in zone G2 (agricultural 10%)
7. depending on the circumstances the planning department may not even consider such an application, but refer you directly to the ministry for permission.
8. The only way to be sure is to have an agreement with the owner, whereby you fund the application/plans and other costs, but the application is on the current owners name, and if permission is granted then the sale takes place and you buy the land together with the permit at the pre-agreed price.

Anyway, good luck with that.
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