Court verdict voids zoning plan for tourism


Greece has been left without a national zoning plan for the tourism sector after the Council of State canceled the second such scheme in a new decision.

The land use plan thrown out by the country’s highest administrative court was the original scheme adopted. It had been replaced by a second plan, which was introduced in 2013 but rejected by the Council of State in 2015 after judges decided that the proper procedure had not been followed.

This meant that the original plan came into effect again. However, an appeal was launched against the original scheme in 2009 by six nongovernmental organizations. The legal action was paused when the second land use scheme was adopted but became active again when the court voided it.

The latest decision by judges means that in the absence of a national zoning plan, the regional schemes will have to apply. The problem, though, is that the local laws were adopted in 2003 and are not up to date. They do not, for instance, cover some new types of tourist development. New regional plans have been ready for the last couple of years but the Energy and Environment Ministry has yet to adopt them.