Tougher building regulations

Building activity on 25 small Aegean islands could become subject to heavy restrictions, according to a draft presidential decree approved – with significant alterations – by the Council of State. In a decision made public yesterday, the court rejected provisions in a decree drafted by the Ministry of the Aegean under which plots of land as small as 750 square metres could be built on if they faced streets or tracks. To be legally built on, a plot must be at least 4,000 square meters in area. The court also lowered the maximum height to 4.5 meters for new edifices, which must have only one storey. The decree applies to Kimolos, Donoussa, Ano Koufonissi, Iraklia, Schinoussa, Amorgos, Anafi, Sikinos, Folegandros, Tilos, Nissyros, Halki, Kastellorizo, Kasos, Telendos, Pserimos, Astypalaia, Lipsi, Agathonissi, Arki, Aghios Efstratios, Inousses, Psara, Fourni and Thymaina. It also stipulates that air-conditioning and solar heating panels should not be externally visible on new buildings, while swimming pools will only be allowed in certain hotels.