The Kyrenia local council this week began work on creating the long-awaited Kyrenia Master Plan, in cooperation with the Turkish Cypriot town planning department and the Catalköy council.
According to a media release from the Kyrenia council, a team of 20 experts will be preparing the Master Plan and have started gathering data to be used in the land use planning.
The lack of a Master Plan in Kyrenia has led to a rapid, unplanned development of the city — especially in the last couple of years after a ‘White Area Decree’ in 2011 allowed for up to 10-storey buildings in central and downtown Kyrenia.
The ‘White Area’ covers areas west of Zeytinlik to just after Ovguru. The decree has been criticised by many non-governmental organisations, activists and journalists as a tool for unjust enrichment.
Many believe Kyrenia’s landscape has rapidly changed from one of a coastal town to a city with multi-storey buildings in a matter of a few years.
A recent change to the ‘White Area Decree’ in February by the Turkish Cypriot Interior Office served as a temporary remedy until the master plan is completed. The change reduced the height of new buildings to seven storeys from 10, while introducing new criteria for the density of buildings in an effort to ease congestion.
Finalised by 2017
Turkish Cypriot Kyrenia council leader Nidai Gungordu stated that land use in Kyrenia has been regulated through decrees for years now, which has led to many problems in the city. He said a Master Plan is necessary so that Kyrenia can be developed in the proper and orderly way.
Gungordu added that the Master Plan would allocate areas for multi-storey buildings, entertainment areas, car parks, industrial regions, workplaces, and parks.
Gungordu stated that the target is to finalise the Kyrenia Master Plan by February 2017.