Thursday, December 02, 2010

Medina believes it is unfair

Our mayor wants to know why it is that the Generalitat in Valencia is allowing city councils like the ones in Catral and Orihuela (both governed by the opposition PP) to legalise thousands of houses without proper infrastructure and at the same time they are contemplating denouncing Bigastro for supposed administrative irregularities in Sector D-6. You will note that the Generalit in Valencia is also governed by the PP.

As Raúl Valerio Medina explains, the area of Sector D-6 in Bigastro is an extension of the town centre, it is included in the general plan for the town, it has all the necessary infrastructure in place; lighting sewerage etc. and yet, because there is no land allocated for social housing, full permission is being held up.

Unfortunately, building in Sector D-6 commenced without clearance by the Conselleria de Territorio in Valencia. However, it is fair to point out that building without full permission is something that a lot of towns in Spain are guilty of. However, that doesn’t excuse the practice in the case of Bigastro or any other town for that matter.

As I have pointed out before, these are issues which we Brits have never experienced before.

Nobody in Britain would even contemplate building a housing estate without full permission let alone go ahead and sell them to unsuspecting buyers who are then faced with the prospect of a legal battle to prevent their homes from being demolished. But then nor would any competent solicitor in Britain complete the purchase of a house on behalf of his or her clients without ensuring a) its legality and b)that the deeds (British equivalent of the escritura) were properly registered to the new owner.

PS In Spain, there are situations where a property can be legally purchased without an escritura for perfectly legitimate reasons.

For example, fast-track conveyancing was one such situation. In this area, during the boom years, the whole infrastructure was devoted to marketing new property yet to be constructed – buying off plan. Procedures involving the purchase of new properties were speeded up. The final payment was made direct to the builder, possession was taken immediately and the parties to the purchase sort out the paperwork (escritura) at a later date.

Just as important (or perhaps more important) is the Licence of First Occupation, in Spanish Licencia de Primera Ocupación orCédula de Habitabilidad). This is is an Administrative licence granted by the Town Hall at the town/city in which the property is located, and enables the owner to dwell in it legally. It also means your house can be connected to electricity and water supplies.

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