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Culatra properties legalised after 150 years

Published on 24/06/2019

Portugal’s Environment Minister has announced the legalisation of 190 of 350 properties on the Ria Formosa island of Culatra whose owners had applied for permission.

So far, only ten licences have been granted by the munificent Minister, João Matos Fernandes, who braved the island last Friday with the Minister of the Sea, Ana Paula Vitorino.

Culatra residents now have their vital ‘water resources licence,’ which will be followed by the legalisation of their properties, after 150 years of technical illegality.

The descendants of the original settlers soon will be able to rest easy that Polis Litoral Ria Formosa will not arrive to bulldoze their properties.

The dwellings will be granted 30 year licences, renewable, as long as the homes remain as first homes.

The licences were delivered by the Ministers at a ceremony in Culatra, “These dwellings, which had existed for a long time – although they were in the Maritime Public Domain – had no title. What we did was, for clusters that have very relevant socioeconomic activity, to legalise the houses,” explained João Matos Fernandes to a delighted home crowd, this election year.

This was made possible by “a decision taken by the Government, which amended the Water Act. We want traditional activities to continue in protected areas.”

“This was a commitment of mine as a Minister,” added the normally evasive one.