Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Strict rules

Around 60 homeowners in San Pedro del Pinatar have been told to demolish their conservatories. Furthermore they were told they would have to pay a 2,670-euro fine.

In most cases the conservatories are too large and in every case were built without licenses. Many of the homeowners thought that it would be legal to build as long as they did not use bricks. It seems a building license is needed even if bricks are not used.

The residents in San Pedro have now been told they have 15 years to demolish the conservatories and that the fine will be reduced. People in other areas may not be so lucky.

The Valencian Government are using aerial photographs to identify illegal building including houses, pools and extensions. During our recent visit to Catastra in Alicante we were shown the up-to-date photograph they have of Villas Andrea. On the photograph you can clearly see every detail of the houses here.

The advice is to not to trust a solicitor and certainly not a builder but to ask your town hall before building.

Worse still though are the illegal homes that have been built in Catral. There are already demolition proceedings in place for 45 houses. In spite of that, over one hundred new houses have just been completed in the area and are being advertised on the Internet for 252,000€ each.

Although some of the illegal houses in Catral may be granted licenses, it is possible that these won't and will have to be demolished at some time during the future.

My comment

How do they get away with building illegal houses? I can understand that if someone adds a conservatory to their house then only the neighbors would be aware but how do you build a house let alone 100 houses without someone in authority noticing?

So if the Council are aware that houses are being built without permission, why don't they do something to stop them? Surely it is too late once the houses are finished and occupied to declare them illegal.

I would like to think that in many cases the buyers are unaware that they have bought something illegal. By the time the Council have decided that the houses are illegal and issued orders for demolition the builder has had his money and gone leaving the buyer with the misery of loosing their home without compensation.

I would argue that this is one case where the principle of mañana should not be applied.

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