Illegal building in Spain dominates EU complaints
1 March 2006, BRUSSELS — Complaints about building abuses in Spain have dominated a list of complaints claims before a European Parliamentary committee.
1 March 2006
BRUSSELS — Complaints about building abuses in Spain have dominated a list of complaints claims before a European Parliamentary committee.
Fifteen out of 24 complaints presented to the Petitions Committee, which hears complains from ordinary EU citizens, were about Spain.
They referred to a variety of projects including the M-30 road works in Madrid which went ahead without any environmental impact study.
Thousands of people also signed a petition against the so-called land-grab law in Valencia, which has forced many expats and Spaniards off their land.
A project for parking lots in Seville and the construction of 2,200 new homes in the salt marshes of Calpe, Alicante, have also brought hundreds of complaints.
David Hammerstein, the Spanish representative on the committee, told El Pais newspaper: "Spaniards are not prone to filling in claims.
"But they come to Brussels because they feel the Spanish legal and political systems do not provide guarantees against construction abuse."
About 50 protestors met in Madrid on Tuesday to analyse the problem of 'building abuse' and create an association to defend citizens' rights.
"The mayors are on the side of developers, not citizens, " said Immaculada Rosas Ledeseme, a lawyer who specialises in development issues.
"When a development is illegal and we ask that it be frozen, it takes a year for the judge to see your request and at least another for him to hand down a sentence.
"In the end, the sentence cannot be implemented because there is a policy to minimize demolitions."
The result, claims Rosas, is that illegally-constructed buildings rarely get torn down.
One of the most obvious examples of this is in Marbella, where the Socialist-run regional government of Andalusia plans to give the green light to 25,000-30,000 homes built under a 'zoning plan' that has been declared illegal.
Subject: Spanish news