A ministerial decision signed by Environment and Energy Minister George Stathakis will temporarily stop new building permits being issued for buildings exceeding 17.5 metres in the Koukaki-Makrygianni neighbourhoods, south of the Athens Acropolis.
The issue of new permits in these areas, which are within the approved town plan for the City of Athens, will be suspended for one year after the decision is published in the Government Gazette. It also extends to additions of additional storeys to existing buildings or any other construction, when the height of this exceeds 17.5 metres.
The Town Planning department at the environment ministry, in collaboration with the other government services and agencies involved, has set up a working team to re-examine building regulations for the specific area in order to address the problem of buildings that obstruct the view of the Acropolis. This will decide on any changes that need to be made to the law following the modifications made in 2012.
Last week, the Central Archaeological Council (KAS) announced its decision to investigate complaints that construction plans for two hotels south of the Athens Acropolis violate height rules and obstruct views of the monument.
The Council said that teams will be sent this Monday to examine the building sites in question, one located at the corner of Misaraliotou and Tsami Karatasi streets in Koukaki and a second on the corner of the Syggrou Avenue side road and Falirou Street in Makrygianni.
It was acting on press reports and complaints lodged by local residents against the construction of the two hotels, which are to be nine storeys and 10 storeys high, respectively.
According to residents lodging the complaint, the erection of the 31.70-metre-high building will create a “wall” of 10-storey buildings around the Acropolis in Makrygianni. For the second building in Koukaki, designed to stand 37 metres high, the complaint states that the building plans had not been submitted for approval to the Athens antiquities ephorate and all culture ministry departments, as required by the original approval given by KAS and the environment minister.