Saturday, November 29, 2008

The crackdown continues

All illegal properties in Valencia province will have to be listed according to a tough new measure launched by the environment prosecutor's office. The aim is to clamp down on houses built outside the law and to end the immunity they have enjoyed until now.

Local councils in the 265 towns will be required to audit and draw up a list of all properties built within protected areas or sites classed as not suitable for construction. If the owners of these properties have paid any of the bills demanded for legal buildings, such as the IBI, or property tax, that would prove that the town hall was aware of the building, and hence would place the council in a guilty light.

The environment prosecutor's office currently numbers 4,000 homes built on rustic land throughout Valencia province, although with this new investigation the figure is expected to increase dramatically. Once all the illegal properties have been pinpointed, the department will zero in on the town halls and the hands behind the projects.

"We will not let a single property that is infringing the law slip by," warned the department, promising an arduous but thorough task that could see many more councillors and town hall officials in the dock.

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