Two new Limassol malls coming by way of derogation and the Cabinet

The process of securing the required approvals for the two new shopping malls in Limassol, for which applications were submitted at around the same time, is anticipated to be a time-consuming affair.

It may be the first time in the history of the development permitting process in Cyprus that two near-identical developments of this size are being proposed, and located only approximately 250 meters apart.

To the Board of Exceptions and then the Cabinet

Due to the particularity of the urban planning zones, in which the two proposed shopping centre developments are located, their approval or rejection goes through the Board of Exceptions (SY.ME.PA.) and then the Cabinet.

The SY.ME.PA. will be invited to consider the applications that will concern the granting of a planning permit in derogation of the provisions of the Local Plan of Limassol.

The purpose of the hearing is mainly to provide the most complete and accurate information to SY.ME.PA., so that this body can come up with a complete and documented recommendation to the Cabinet, for the final decision to be made.

Public hearings will be held at specific times and days, during which anyone who wishes will be able to submit questions and objections regarding the creation of the two developments.

Containing the recommendations of the Town Planning Authority, the two reports that will be prepared will be sent to SY.ME.PA. and then be forwarded to the Cabinet, which will decide on the approval or rejection of the two applications for urban planning permission in derogation of the provisions of the Limassol Local Plan.

Urban planning zones and new roundabouts

The applicants are in consultation with both the Town Planning Authority and the relevant government departments (eg Public Works Department, Water Development Department, Fire Department).

The three studies submitted by Atterbury Europe on the one hand and the shareholder group of Nicosia Mall in collaboration with the Papantoniou group on the other hand, concern an environmental impact assessment study, a commercial impact assessment study, as well as a traffic impact study, in which the expected load on the road network will be reflected and ways to relieve traffic congestion will be proposed.

Regarding the urban planning zones of the developments, according to the environmental impact study, Limassol Mall (Nicosia Mall-Papantoniou Group), the shopping centre in question is included in Ba4 (Industrial Zone Category B) at a rate of 94% of the total area of ​​the area of ​​the proposed project and in Eb5 (commercial and other activities outside densely populated city area) at a rate of 6% of the total area of ​​the area of ​​the proposed project.

The project is located in the area of ​​Linopetra (near Jumbo), in the parish of Ayios Stylianos, within the administrative limits of the Municipality of Ayios Athanasios, in a block of land where a car wash now operates.

mall two

The immediate area under study, covering ​​a total area of ​​34,747 sq. m. is located 350 meters south of the Ayios Athanasios roundabout and the Limassol-Nicosia highway and abuts Ayios Athanasios Avenue.

According to the environmental impact study, the development site is located in the southern part of the industrial area of ​​Ayios Athanasios and its location is considered suitable in terms of ease of accessibility, both from the centre of Limassol and from the Nicosia-Limassol/Paphos highway.

As part of the construction of the shopping centre, three new roundabouts will be constructed in the existing road network (one in the southern part, one in the southeastern part and one in the northwestern part) adjacent to the area under study, with the aim of orderly traffic management.

mall three

Access to the proposed mall will be through the existing primary road network of the area (Ayios Athanasios Avenue) and then the entrance to the proposed development will be through Andreas Kariolou Street (at the southern border of the project) and Evheltonos Ioannides street (at the eastern border of the project).

For the easier movement and access of vehicles on the road network during the operation of the shopping centre, regulations are also foreseen on Andreas Kariolou and Evheltonos Ioannides streets, which concern the creation of three new small roundabouts to facilitate traffic on said streets and the entrance/exit of vehicles both to the proposed shopping centre and to the existing large Jumbo department store to the south of the development.

On the other hand, Atterbury Europe has submitted an application for the construction and operation of The Mall of Limassol shopping centre and the roundabout at the junction of Georgiou Neophytos and Spyros Kyprianou avenues, within the administrative boundaries of the Mesa Geitonia Municipality.

According to the Local Plan of Limassol (2013), the plot of land in which the shopping centre is to be built and operated falls within urban planning zone Ka5 (areas with predominant residential use) at a rate of 90% of the total area of ​​the plot, within urban planning zone Eb4 (zone of commercial and other related functions outside an urban shopping centre) at a rate of 9% of the total area of ​​the plot and within urban planning zone Aa4 (public and other urban uses) at a rate of 1% of the total area of ​​the plot.

mall four

As stated in the environmental impact report that has been submitted, the shopping centre, which is to be built in the heart of a large and constantly developing area of ​​commercial, residential and office activity, aims to upgrade the existing commercial activity in the specific area, provide commercial services, facilities and places of entertainment and recreation to the citizens of the Municipality of Mesa Geitonia, to the residents of the wider area of ​​the Limassol district, as well as to the visitors to the area that it is expected to attract.

It is also added that the shopping centre is expected to serve the central as well as the regional market of the city of Limassol, also covering current deficiencies in terms of the insufficient number of existing retail businesses in the area, contributing to meeting the prevailing needs of the market.

mall five

Accordingly, the construction of the proposed roundabout southwest of the proposed shopping centre, at the junction of Georgiou Neophytos and Spyros Kyprianou avenues, aims to relieve traffic congestion in the area, and create the easier access of visitors who are expected to be attracted by the operation of the shopping centre, while its use is expected to contribute to the regulation of traffic in the wider area.

The location of the roundabout, and its design as presented below, was obtained after consultation and approval by the Department of Public Works.

In the media, the process and the unprecedented

It is estimated that it will be a matter of several months if not a year for the procedures to secure approval or rejection regarding the two proposed projects, which is about halfway through, to be completed.

In previous cases that have concerned the Department of Town Planning and Housing, urban planning permits have eventually been obtained by way of derogation for shorter-range developments.

What is unprecedented in this case is the scope, similarity and proximity of the two developments.

Due to the reform of the Local Self-Government and the merger of the municipalities, apart from the Municipalities of Mesa Geitonia and Ayios Athanasios, opinions will also be submitted by the Municipality of Limassol, which will merge with the Municipality of Mesa Geitonia.

The key is for the two shopping centres is to find solutions for a smooth integration in the wider area, as well as the immediate identification and resolution with practical and applicable measures of the problems of disturbances and traffic congestion, with infrastructure in the road network that will effectively deal with them the inevitable increase in traffic.

The rapid and radical resolution of the problems that will inevitably arise for each of the applications under consideration will pave the way for the green light and implementation of the developments.

(Source: INBusinessNews)

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