Andalucia has a serious problem with illegally built properties, which the authorities have done little sensible to solve to date. In Malaga province alone there are an estimated 40,000 illegally built homes, which cannot all be knocked down. Sooner or later an amnesty is inevitable, despite the fact that it rewards bad behaviour.
Marbella was the first to face up to this. An amnesty for close to 20,000 illegal properties in Marbella has been in the works for several years, but yesterday signs emerged that the authorities in Malaga province are finally moving towards forgiveness for the majority of illegally built homes in the Axarquia and Mijas too. Salvador Pendón, President of Malaga’s Provincial Council, told the Spanish press yesterday that it is not unreasonable to expect some sort of planning amnesty there, along the lines of Marbella.
Pendón explained that the majority of homes are “not built on land that is protected in some way,” meaning that an amnesty is “possible.” In “some concrete cases”, however, where properties are built on protected land, no forgiveness will be possible. In those cases demolition is the only option.
At the same time Antonio Sánchez, Mayor of Mijas, has announced that the town hall will no longer fine owners of illegal properties who fail to carry out demolition orders. Owners will be given breathing space of around a year and a half, before a new town plan is passed that legalises many of properties. There are an estimated 3,000 properties in Mijas with planning problems.