Light at end of tunnel for owners of illegal homes in Andalusia?

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      Mark Stücklin

      AUAN Press Release 17.09.2014

      Susana Diaz, President of the Junta de Andalucía spoke about illegal houses today in the Andalusian Parliament during the debate on the state of Andalusian autonomy.

      She said “Ladies and Gentlemen, we are going to respond to the situation that affects thousands of families and that cannot be ignored by the Administration. You are aware that a significant number of buildings have been constructed, the majority some time ago, on non urbanizable land and that the proscription period allowed for the restoration of legality has now passed. We cannot allow them to remain in a limbo of legal uncertainty, and for this reason my Government is going to propose to Parliament a change to article 185 of the Planning Law of Andalucía which will make it possible to regularize thousands and thousands of houses in Andalucía”.

      Maura Hillen, President of the association which campaigns against planning abuses known as “AUAN” gave a cautious welcome to the news and said “it appears to be a positive step and we are given hope by what the President has said. We only hope that the proposed change is appropriate and that it becomes law as soon as possible” adding “finally there seems to be political as well as social consensus regarding illegal houses in Andalucía. The facts are that there are at least 300,000 illegal houses in Andalucía. They cannot all be demolished and therefore solutions must be found. It is not acceptable to ignore these houses pretending that they do not exist because there are thousands of houses that may be affecting the environment that are currently not being recognised and regulated”.

      According to Gerardo Vázquez, legal advisor to AUAN, “the change could be an important step. To coin a phrase this will not be end of the problem, nor the beginning of the end, but perhaps the end of the beginning. AUAN has campaigned for many years to bring about a change of this sort, even warning before what purported to be the regularization Decree was passed that it would not resolve the problem for the majority of houses because they were on illegal land divisions. We thank the politicians and officials who have embraced this assertion and promoted it. As one of them said to me recently “politicians have to be useful” and I sincerely believe that this measure if applied correctly, will benefit, not only many families in Andalucía, but also legal security, foreign investment and society as a whole”.

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