The Environment Ministry has banned any further construction activity on the slopes of Mount Hymettus in Attica until October 2018. The government department decided to refuse to issue any more building permits in seven of the 11 municipalities that border on the mountain after the local authorities won their appeal at the Council of State against a 2011 presidential decree that sought to protect Mount Hymettus.
The municipalities (Kropia, Paiania, Ilioupoli, Elliniko-Argyroupoli, Papagos-Holargos, Glyfada and Vari-Voula-Vouliagmeni) appealed against the strict regulations against construction that the decree sought to introduce. The City of Athens and the municipalities of Vyronas, Kaisariani and Aghia Paraskevi did not participate in the appeal.
By suspending the issuing of licenses for one year, the ministry is hoping to buy time to complete a new presidential decree and an environmental impact study. It is unlikely the new decree will lift the restrictions on construction in the manner that some of the local authorities are hoping as the Council of State did not ask for such adjustments to be made. The ministry hopes that it will be submitted to the country’s highest administrative court by next summer.