Marbella loses powers after illegal building shambles

30th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

30 November 2005, MADRID – Marbella is to lose its powers to approve building in the southern Spanish city, it emerged on Wednesday.

30 November 2005

MADRID – Marbella is to lose its powers to approve building in the southern Spanish city, it emerged on Wednesday.

Andalucia's regional government said it would take over property decisions from Marbella's town hall from 12 December.

President Manuel Chaves said it did not want to "put the brakes on construction in Marbella", but it did want to "halt illegal building".

The decision comes after a new municipal plan revealed that a third of the houses bought in the city, many by British expats, are not legal and that up to 5,000 holiday flats and villas could face being bulldozed as a result.

The Guardian newspaper reported that Marbella's town hall has approved a thousand building licences in recent years and that, out of 80,000 homes in the resort, only 50,000 have been declared properly legal.

Chaves accused town hall councillors of failing to review the majority of licences given since 1998 and continuing to give "illegal licences".

Most of the illegal licences are believed to have been awarded in the 1990s when Marbella was run by the populist mayor and property developer Jesús Gil, who was later imprisoned when one of the hotels he built collapsed killing 58 insurance agents.

However, Chaves said "18 of the 27 councillors of the town hall are either implicated or have been found guilty" of bad property decisions, including mayor Marisol Yague.

Malaga's Association of Builders and Estate Agents, though, criticised the decision of the Andalucia government, saying "things were working" and adding that the move "doesn't have any precedent in the history of Spain and its 17 autonomous communities".

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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