Thursday, December 20, 2007

Plans for more housing

The Valencian government is attempting to reactivate the stagnant housing market by giving the green light for a huge building programme in the region.

As part of a two-pronged plan, regional planning chief José Ramon García Antón announced this week that he will introduce a new law encouraging the building of ‘public protected’ houses.

These subsidised properties will be available at below-market prices for low wage earners. Plans to build 34,500 of the properties have already been approved.

In a meeting on Monday councillor García Antón told around 100 mayors from Alicante province that his department is completing a study to be published in January on the demand for subsidised housing in the provinces of Alicante, Castellón and Valencia.

Councillor García Antón is also ready to give the green light for up to 160 development plans in the Valencia region which have been on hold for the last two years.

Many of the schemes are resorts aimed at northern European buyers, with 65 new golf courses planned in the next eight years.

In an interview with El Mundo, councillor García Antón said  that between 40 to 50 per cent of the 160 plans (PAI) will be approved in the next six months.  He claims that scant water resources would not present a problem for the construction bonanza.

“It is true that a couple of years ago there was a tremendous boom – in sales and in the appearance of new projects and it was not convenient that the whole of the Valencia region should have jumped on that bandwagon. However today we have between 150 and 160 development plans which are pending for rustic land or building land. These would affect around 160 million square metres of land and we have got to decide whether to approve them or not. Before they were warning us about savage overbuilding and now it is that we could be killing the goose that laid the golden egg.”

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