In a groundbreaking ruling, Greece’s Council of State (CoS) has opened the door for thousands of citizens who own land in the Greek forest which was designated as “forest land” on official Forest Maps to contest these classifications and potentially have them overturned.

According to senior judges, property owners of Greek forest lands can initiate this process from the moment they become aware of their property’s forest classification, typically during the Land Registry posting or property transfer procedures.

The Council of State’s decision highlights several challenges that may hinder timely awareness among property owners. These include instances where public disclosures related to Forest Map postings were inadequate or improperly maintained, thus impeding property owners from fully understanding the content and deadlines for filing objections.

Additionally, the ruling acknowledges situations where areas designated as forest land overlap with zones covered by approved urban development plans or studies. In such cases, property owners may reasonably overlook the forest map’s relevance, as filing objections may be deemed unnecessary by legislation.

Crucially, the deadline for challenging the approval of a Greek Forest Map does not commence from its publication in the Government Gazette, but rather from the moment property owners gain knowledge of their property’s forest classification.

Moreover, the Council of State’s decision also addresses cases where judicial rulings contradict the forest map’s administration, potentially annulling forest land designations. Here, the deadline for filing objections starts upon the affected party’s awareness of the judicial decision.

Ultimately, this landmark ruling provides an opportunity for property owners who missed initial objection deadlines to contest and potentially reverse forest land classifications upon discovery of their property’s status, thereby offering a pathway to legal recourse.