Ilioupolis destroyed forest to build school

Greece’s highest administrative court has frozen construction of a southern Athens school complex that local authorities wanted to build on forestland that included a former streambed which has been filled in with rubble. In a ruling made public yesterday, the Council of State suspended a decision by the Attica regional authority allowing construction of the buildings at Diana, above Ilioupolis on the western slopes of Mount Hymettus. The complex, to have been erected on ground provided by the Ilioupolis local authority, was to have housed two nursery schools and a junior high school. But, following a complaint by a local resident, the court found that the area was former forestland that had been denuded of its trees by the local authority – prompting lawsuits from the forestry department – and had once contained a streambed that was filled in to allow building.

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