News on Legalisation of ‘irregular’ properties in Marbella

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    Article from yesterday’s Sur in English

    Developers negotiate with Junta to legalise irregular properties built in Marbella Héctor Barbotta

    The planning office responsible for drawing up the new PGOU is demanding land as compensation for excess construction
    Around 90 per cent of the buildings in question will be legalised

    Marbella’s developers are in a race against time. The town’s new development plan (PGOU) must be provisionally approved by next spring and the developers of the around 30,000 illegal properties have until then to make sure that they will be legal according to the new guidelines. If not they run the risk of the properties being left in a legal limbo with unknown consequences.
    Since the Junta de Andalucía took over the town’s planning responsibilities more than 150 developers have visited the Planning Office in an attempt to make sure that the buildings they put up with illegal licences will fall on the right side of the law according to the new regulations.

    Logically the developers in the biggest hurry to solve the problem are those with unfinished houses or apartments on sites where building work has been halted by a court order. Nevertheless others, whose developments have already been sold and are inhabited, are also trying to legalise their situation, most being open to negotiation.

    In fact those responsible for drawing up the new PGOU calculate that there are a total of 950 cases of planning permission being granted when it shouldn’t have been. Of them, between 85 and 90 per cent could be legalised within the new Plan. However the new regulations will not be able to be adapted to include buildings put up on space reserved for green zones, roads, hospitals or schools as well as the illegal constructions on non-building land that cannot be re-zoned. According to the regional councillor for Public Works, Concepción Gutiérrez, the authority will call for demolition in these cases. “We are analysing the cases that involve a serious infringement where the construction affects the structure of the municipality and the rights of the local people”, explained Gutiérrez, who added that compensation for the victims ought to come from Juan Antonio Roca’s estate.

    Negotiations

    The rest of the illegal buildings, that is the vast majority, involve cases of excess construction (that is a building is higher or covers a larger area than stipulated in the 1986 PGOU) or excess density (that is the number of houses built is more than stipulated). However these properties will not be legalised for nothing and this is where the negotiations between developers and the Junta de Andalucía come in.

    What the town needs most now is land and this is what the developers who benefitted in their day from the Town Hall’s excesses are being asked to provide to make sure that their buildings are legalised. This new public land, equivalent in size to the area legally built on plus the excess construction, will be used by the planning office to create green zones or to build the schools, hospitals and subsidised housing that the town severely lacks.

    “Those who do not have land to contribute will have to buy some if they don’t want their buildings to be left out of the new regulations”, claim sources from the Planning Office. Compensation in the form of money will not be accepted, and neither must the land be too far from the developments themselves. “The services must not be on the other side of town”, add the sources.

    Another possibility being offered to the developers is for them to build car parks and roads for the town, many of which were wiped out in the planning chaos of the last few years.

    While a large number of developers have come forward to negotiate with the Junta de Andalucía, the majority of the businessmen arrested and charged in Operation Malaya have yet to show an interest in legalising their developments. “The businessmen closest to Juan Antonio Roca have shown no interest whatsoever; it seems they are not aware of the situation their developments are in”, report the sources.

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