In February 2005, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cyprus announced its Policy for Encouraging Investments in Golf Courses, which holds significant potential for developers.
The deadline for expressions of interest was 27 November 2005, and the policy will remain in force until up to 14 golf courses have been developed. In the interests of economic viability, it was decided that rather than standing alone, golf courses should be developed in tandem with housing and tourism facilities, for example five-star hotels and luxury tourism villages.
Applications for construction permits will be assessed according to criteria like irrigation potential, aesthetic design and neighbouring developments. The arrangement of the development will also be a key concern. Golf courses must have 18 holes, cover at least 52.5 hectares and stretch to a minimum 5,500m in length. The development must have "superior" aesthetic design and must not be affected substantially by other noncompatible developments, such as industrial or agricultural establishments.
Proposed developments must include a high standard clubhouse worth at least CYP1m (€1.738m), and must offer catering, changing and parking amenities as well as training facilities and a golf shop. Additional requirements include landscaping with traditional Cypriot plants and the use of grass that is resistant to high temperatures.
A 66-year Assignment of Rights will accompany development permits, to ensure continuity of operation. A KPMG summary of the policy, and the full report, can be found via this site.
KPMG will be hosting the 3rd annual Golf Business Forum at the Aphrodite Hills resort in Cyprus from June 8-10, with Golf Course Architecture as an official media sponsor. For more information, visit www.golfbusinessforum.com.
This article first appeared in issue 4 of Golf Course Architecture, published in April 2006.