NEWS

Ministry extends deadline for immunity of illegal constructions

The Environment Ministry has announced a one-year extension for property owners who want to declare illegally constructed buildings or building additions in order to be granted immunity from demolition until February 8, 2016.

Those who want to protect their property can do so by paying a fine for the illegal construction in as many as 60 installments once their request has been granted.

The ministry has also extended the period of time that property owners have to submit a report from a civil engineer to back their application from 18 months to two years, starting from the date that the initial application is filed.

The extensions apply for all categories of properties.

The immunity scheme has seen more than 800,000 illegal buildings or illegal additions registered.

Of these, 75 percent are buildings that were constructed legally but violated the original terms of the their licenses and the remaining 25 percent pertain to buildings that had never been granted a permit.

More than 260,000 property owners have paid the fine levied against them and around 490,00 have started paying.