Strovolos Hopes For Ayia Paraskevi courtesy by The Cyprus Weekly
Municipality Has Asked Archbishop To Reconsider Plans To Build Massive Church Near Historic Site.
Archbishop Chrysostomos may be having second thoughts about plans to build a new church near the small,historic church of Ayia Paraskevi close to the Nicosia Hilton hotel , The Cyprus Weekly has learnt.
The plan has raised strong objections from Strovolos municipality which on Wednesday asked the Archbishop to reconsider. The Greens have also been campaigning against.
“The Church of Ayia Paraskevi has a unique character and beauty not only for the suburb of Strovolos but for the whole municipality. It is already surrounded on two sides by immense bank building and it should remain as it is or be further protected,” said Strovolos Mayor Savvas Eliophotou.
“We had a meeting with Archbishop Chrysostomos on the matter and asked him to reconsider plans to build a new church. His Beatitude did not reject our proposal and my personal view is that he is thinking about it,” he added.
The Cyprus Weekly tried to contact the Archbishop, but he was unavailable for comment. But other Archbishopric sources said there was no charge in plan.
“Of course plans are going ahead to construct a new church since Town planning permits have been issued. I was not present at the meeting of the Archbishop with the Strovolos Municipal Council and I don’t know what was said,” said father Ieronymos.
The area of the 400-year-old church of Ayia Paraskevi is designated as an archaeological site in the Nicosia plan. Remains of monastery cells found on its northern side are in danger of being covered if the new church goes ahead.
Interior Minister Neocles Sylikiotis said his hands were tied since the town planning Department has already issued the required permits.
According to Sylikiotis, to interior Minister has no right to intervene in procedures to issue or withdraw a town planning permit without reason , unless proper procedures had not been followed.
Sylikiotis said, he had asked the town planning Department to issue a report so that he would look into the procedure followed.
The Greens have repeatedly expressed concern over plans to develop that such plans which would turn the historic church into granny flats were incomprehensible.
Grees MP George Perdikis said the Interior Minister should have intervened before the town planning permits were issued.
Traffic and environmental studies should have been carried in an antiquities area, which would have allowed the Interior Minister to withdraw the permit and demand issue be reviewed,he added.
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