“In some cases it will be a regularisation that answers to town halls through town plans, and in other cases it will come at the request of individual owners,” Griñán told the Andalucian parliament.
The only homes that won’t be legalised are those built on specially protected land and areas at risk of flooding.
According to the Junta, there are 300,000 homes with planning problems in Andalucia, but others like the left-wing party Izquiera Unida say the figure is more like 400,000.
There will be no more problems in future because it is now “practically impossible” to build illegally in Andalucia, claims Griñán. “We are not going to let our guard down,” he said.
Josefina Cruz Villalón, the Minister responsible for housing, recently blamed British owners in Andalucia for much of the problem with illegal building.
Judging by the comments from readers at some Andalucian news websites, the move will go down badly with many voters, who are outraged that law-breakers are being rewarded for their behaviour. In reality, an amnesty is the only solution to a problem the government should never have allowed to grow to such monstrous proportions.
When it comes to illegally built homes, you either stamp it out straight away, or the problem gets so big you end up having to resort to amnesties.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.