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I’ve been down to Vera & Bedar in Almeria today, filming for a programme on C4 coming to your idiot box soon. Cranes as far as the eye can see. The crash is going to hit this place hard. There will be unemployment and rising crime too.
The planning situation in Almeria is a shambles, illegal properties all over the place. Dirty politics and bureaucratic incompetence are a big part of the problem, but there is much more to it. This region was dirt poor until the property boom struck. Guys that were riding around on donkeys 20 years ago are now driving around in Porsche Cayennes. To a certain extent this region just didn’t have the knowhow or human capital to deal with the property gold rush in a decent way. It’s the same story in quite a few other parts of Spain.
There is a large British community in the area. By all accounts there are quite a few chavs amongst them. Local Spaniards are now having to come to terms with the kind of loutish behaviour that blights so many British towns; smashed young girls and boys fighting and puking in the street on a Saturday night, that sort of thing. Ironic given that many Brits want to move to Spain to get away from that sort of thing.
I also went to see an unusual old English fellow who is fighting a land grab scheme on his land. He’s a fighter, and though the battle isn’t over, he seems to be winning. It is costing him tens of thousands of Euros to fight, and if he wasn’t well off, it would be game over. There are going to be many more land grab schemes in this part of the world. It has got to the stage where anyone who is not on an urbanisation is at risk.
Here in Alicante airport, as I wait for a late flight home, one of the big agents has a stand in the final departure lounge (of all places) selling….investment properties worldwide; what else! But they wouldn’t be selling if people weren’t still buying. When are people going to realise that the jig is up, and that it was all largely hype anyway. Madness.
At least Vera has an acceptable beach, near the nudist colony.
But the ugliness of buildings between Vera and Mojacar was one the worst eyesores I have ever encountered.
That place is so doomed that only putting everything to the ground and restarting can make decent tourists ever return to that area.
The ones that drink their brains out do not observe their surroundings anyway…
I am going to have to visit this area myself in March, when I am back in Spain, because a lot of the comments made on this site are so negative. It’s just not the Spain I see when I visit.
Granted I live in the UK with my Spanish wife and own a property in Almerimar, Almeria. My wife parents live in Berja and with other family members living in Almerimar. There is obviously crime but I don’t see it or hear of it. There are absolutely no English or German people in Almerimar (ok a few on holiday) and building construction is obviously seen, but not a skyline of Cranes, unike Madrid where 5 years ago a 20 km trip along the motorway to the airport was lined with cranes like blackpool illuminations.
I have visited Garrucha for past 4 years and it has its few attractions, good fish restaurants , nice local people, reasonable beaches, some lovely tapas bars. Now it has crane after crane and developments destroying the hills around the town at crazy prices spreading out towards Vera village, Vera Playa and Palomares.
Enquired about four apartments last September and nobody would accept what I regarded as a very reasonable offer. There are now so many new builds I cannot where the new buyers are going to come from and who would want to pay crazy price for a run of the mill 2 bed apartment.
The Junta’s proposed regional urban plan (POT) will develop the entire plain stretching back from Garrucha down to Mojacar, and inland to Bedar and Los Gallardos. Some say it will involve as much housing as a city as big as Chicago. I can’t confirm this – just what I’ve been told. Madness.
It’s actually the POTALA – Plan de Ordenación Territorial del Area del Levante almeriense – part of the larger Andalucian ‘POTA’ plan for the entire community.
Locally, the Junta wants to stop the local municipalities from building more than the bare minimum… while at the same time effecting a massive land-grab of 55Km2 which will be between Mojacar, Turre, Bedar, Los Gallardos, Antas, Vera and backing onto Garrucha. Wow! The giant city (currently called Llano Central but probably eventually called Chavesópolis) will have an AVE train station, 50 hotels, noddy houses and light industry. The whole to house up to 100,000 people. Cor!
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