A petition in Cyprus asking for people to vote for the abolishment of a rule regulating swimming pools has gained over 2,800 signatures.
The petition, which could affect overseas property investors, was initiated by property expert Russel Flick. It needs a minimum of 8,000 signatures to force the government to set up a committee to investigate the issue.
The petition is aiming to combat current regulation that requires communal pools in Cyprus to obtain a public pool licence. There are extensive requirements to obtain the licence and the majority of pools in Cyprus are not built to meet this requirement.
They would therefore need major alterations which can become very expensive. They would also need a full time life guard.
Russel Flick said: ‘Historically local authorities appeared to be sympathetic to the problem by not taking any major action against apartment complexes without a public pool licence. Under current regulations if a swimming pool is shared by more than one property it is considered a public pool and requires a public pool licence. Even if it’s a small communal pool shared by just two houses or a few apartments. We are not calling for an end to regulations on communal pools, all we ask is they are reasonable and proportionate.’
Flick explained. ‘For example there are environmental issues. The law says that a pool needs to be completely emptied and refilled every month. There is no scientific backing to why this should be done. We should dump tons of water regularly when there is a water shortage?’
He claims that the easiest way to gain a fairer system is to abolish the law as it is considered excessive by most parties. The EU law makes much more sense as it differentiates between different pool types not just public and private swimming pools.
Leaving the regulations as they currently stand will damage the already precarious Cyprus real estate market by deterring international investors and overseas property developers who see this law as a hindrance.
The municipality does not agree. Secretary of the municipality Themis Philippides said: ‘The municipality of Paphos gives a high importance to public health. It was decided by the municipal council to comply with the law, and this is not beyond our jurisdiction.’