Construction within villages to be reined in

Order will be brought to the construction chaos within the the villages themselves by the new presidential decrees, which: – Provide for the preservation and renovation of all existing old buildings. New one-story buildings cannot exceed 400 cubic meters of space. Two-story ones are allowed 800 cubic square meters. – Stipulate the greatest surface area allowed for building facades and limit apertures to 30 percent of the surface area. – Stipulate wooden window and door frames and the type of surface to be used, with white as the dominant color for buildings. They also stipulate the shape and material to be used for porches, perimeter walls and staircases. – Where (wooden or iron) balconies are allowed, their greatest width may not exceed 1 to 1.20 square meters, and they may not be longer than 2.50 square meters or one-third of the total length of the building facade. The presidential decrees lay down precise building regulations for the traditional settlements of Paroikia on Paros, Olympos on Karpathos, Folegandros town and Karavostasi on Folegandros and at Mikro and Megalo Horio, Livadia and Geras on Tilos. For Paroikia in particular, the pertinent presidential decree was issued jointly with the Ministry of Culture and lays down rules for the preservation and renovation of old buildings and the construction of new buildings, which aim at protecting the local architectural character of the settlement. The purpose is to preserve the town plan and to determine the layout of buildings in an area and the relationship between them. The decrees also provide for the maintenance of cobbled walkways and roads, and the renewal of all the old ones. «A collective effort is needed for the success of the whole project,» Aegean Minister Nikos Sifounakis said. «By itself, the State, no matter how good the monitoring mechanisms it develops, will not be able to implement the new laws with perfect discipline. Unfortunately, we have been very dilatory in taking measures. Today, however, we are sending a warning in every direction that we will defend [the laws] we have adopted and we will seek to conserve our architectural heritage and maintain it within a less damaged natural environment.»

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