A significant obstacle to the mixed-use development of the former Athens airport at Elliniko was lifted on Wednesday, after the state’s Central Archaeological Council (KAS) unanimously decided to clarify and limit the scope of decisions made by the previous government, viewed by the developers as too restrictive.
KAS decided that the investors will be obliged to submit architectural and environmental impact studies for projects inside declared archaeological sites at Elliniko and within a zone of 20 meters around these sites. The ministry had decided that these studies should be submitted for the entire project.
Also, there can be no building within 20 meters of an ancient burial site.
Besides the developer, Greece’s Asset Development Fund (TAIPED), the agency charged with managing state properties and overseeing privatizations, had also appealed the previous government’s decision to KAS.
The developers had argued that the Culture Ministry could not rule on the preservation of the overall environment, whose protection was already provided for in the terms of the deal that leased the land to them, and that its competence should only concern monuments.
If any antiquities are discovered during construction, all activity must cease until archaeologists have had time to study and catalogue the findings. This is a restriction that applies to all public and private construction projects.
KAS will also retain a say in the design of buildings facing monuments.