Demolition hangs over 2,000 properties in popular resort of Chiclana

Bird's eye view of Chiclana

Bird's eye view of Chiclana

I’ve written on several occasions about the dire town planning situation in Chiclana, where the authorities are struggling to come up with a solution for some 15,000 illegal properties, almost as bad as Marbella 20,000 illegally built homes. But whereas Marbella’s new town-plan means it may only have to knock down around 500 occupied homes, Chiclana is facing the nightmare situation of having to bulldoze more than 2,000 homes, reports the Spanish press.

The town hall of Chiclana (Costa de la Luz, Cadiz Province, Andalucia), run by the PSOE Socialist party, and the regional government in Seville, also run by the Socialists, have fumbled through months of negotiations over a town planning amnesty for Chiclana, with at least one compromise plan rejected by the courts for not following proper procedures. The latest news is that the town hall plans to legalise 12,715 homes built without planning permission, but that still leaves 2,292 homes built on land zoned as “no urbanizable”, or not for urban development, which are left out of the amnesty.

Of the more than 2,000 homes left out of the amnesty, many of them are built on land zoned for special protection. According to planning official Cándida Verdier, cited in Spanish press reports, demolition is the only option for almost all of these properties. “They are the most complicated. The Department of the Environment is getting serious about these cases, and it would be very difficult for us to legalise them, most of all if they are on land zoned as special protected.”

Owners of properties that will be legalised won’t get off scot free. They may have to pay a fee to bring urban facilities up to standard, which in some cases could be as much as 50,000 Euros.



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About Mark Stücklin

Mark Stücklin is a Barcelona-based property market analyst and consultant, and author of the 'Spanish Property Doctor' column in the Sunday Times (2005 - 2008). He can be reached by email on