The authorities in Mijas, on the Costa del Sol, have issued fines to 20 owners of illegal properties in the municipality, after they refused to demolish their homes, reports the Spanish daily ‘El Pais’.
Owners who don’t pay the fines, which amount to 10% of the valuation of the property, can expect to have their assets frozen by the authorities.
“With help from friends you can cope with the first fine, but after that it gets more difficult,” said one affected owner, who has been fined 9,000 Euros. “They can issue you with up to a dozen fines, and there is no budget that can deal with that.”
According to the article, there are an estimated 8,000 properties with planning problems in Mijas, 2,000 of which are under threat of demolition. Most of the properties under threat of demolition have been inherited, and are built on rural land zoned as ‘rustico’.
Back in July, affected owners unsuccessfully petitioned the Socialist Mayor of Mijas, Antonio Sánchez, to suspend demolition orders until the regional urban plan has been revised. “What’s the point in knocking them down if they are in an area where you can build in 3 years time,” they asked.
Town planning officials have set up a work group to study the problem of illegal building in the municipality, but local politicians from the opposition PP party have denounced the step as a mere smoke screen.