NEWS

New law to stop homes in forests

A change to the law is being planned to create three-member regional committees that will have the power to order the destruction of any houses built on burned forestland. Sunday’s Kathimerini has learnt that the Environment and Public Works Ministry is preparing a draft law with the aim of providing further protection to the areas of the Peloponnese and Evia that were ravaged by fires this summer. The main crux of the bill is to provide a small body with unprecedented powers to knock down any structures that spring up in the charred areas. Under the new law, other authorities, such as the police, would be obliged to cooperate with the regional panel. At present, people who own illegally built homes can continuously appeal decisions to demolish their properties, thereby holding up the process. However, the proposed law would prevent any appeal from homeowners. If the committee were later found to have wrongly ordered a property to be knocked down, its owner would be compensated.