“Window” of alteration of traditional settlements

Controversy in Amorgos for opinions that leave room for “interpretations” of the framework for the construction of high-rise buildings

“Window” for the construction of high-rise buildings in Amorgos and Aegean islands, despite the special protection regime in force there, leave opinions of the Central Council for Urban Issues and Disputes (KESYPOTHA) and the Department of Traditional Settlements of the Ministry of Shipping. The Hellenic Society of Environment and Culture (ELLET), drafted with the Municipality of Amorgos, intervened in the case, the Naxos town planning that revoked the building permit and local bodies that ask not to change through “interpretations” the urban regime in the traditional settlements since 2003 and does not allow more than two floors even if the building is erected on a slope.

The controversy over this building started a few months ago. Her permit was for the construction of a two-storey building with a basement, but after a complaint it was revoked as the protective presidential decree introduced in 2003 for the traditional settlements of Amorgos stipulates that the buildings should not exceed the two floors “in view”, ie not the slopes of the island are used to add “lying” floors. This was followed by an opinion of KESYPOTHA in June and a corresponding one by the Ministry of Shipping, who ruled that the general rules of the new building regulation (NOK) should apply on the island, as the specific provision in the presidential decree has not been specified.

As ELLET points out in a letter to the general secretary of Spatial Planning (and president of KESYPOTHA) Efthymi Bakogianni, “since the issuance of the presidential decree in 2003, the competent Naxos town planning service has building should not exceed the two floors and the maximum allowed height, a position with which the Municipality of Amorgos is prepared, as well as the engineers of the island who were invited to be placed in the Environment Committee of the municipality. ELLET, which has long dealt with issues of traditional architecture in Amorgos and recently with a study on the bearing capacity of the island, shares the concern of the municipality that the generalization of this opinion threatens to alter the physiognomy of the traditional settlements of the island.

“Unjustified changes in the institutional framework lead to institutional uncertainty for the citizens and falsify the State’s efforts to convince the local communities of the need to comply with the regulations, and the contribution of the Local Government is valuable when drafting the protection policy”.

ELLET calls on Mr. Bakoyannis to reconsider the opinion, “so that such interpretations do not constitute a starting point for the deconstruction of the protective framework of the traditional architecture and the residential landscape of the Cyclades, which is an invaluable treasure for sustainable development.”

It was preceded by a decision of the municipal council of Amorgos, which asked not to indirectly increase the heights of the buildings on the island. “The Municipality of Amorgos expresses as a protest its opposition to the opinions – interpretations that have been given to the issue of building conditions in traditional settlements, such as our island, by the competent government services mentioned above, while demanding that all that was applied the years until now by the competent building service of the Municipality of Naxos “, the decision states.

The Amorgos Island Association also agreed with this view. “After 2003, there are no high-rise buildings in Amorgos, let alone in its traditional settlements, which is not only important but also crucial for the preservation and promotion of the traditional architecture of Amorgos and the Cyclades in general. “The new interpretation of the law breaks the traditional form of future buildings, creating legal multi-storey buildings if their height will be calculated perpendicular to the ground, allowing the construction of buildings with more than two floors on sloping plots,” said in a statement, the club.



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