Roofs to remain over many Almanzora heads as homes can be regularised

CUEVAS DEL ALMANZORA: Good news for many property owners there

MANY Almeria property owners will sleep more easily thanks to proposed changes to Andalucia’s Urban Planning Law (LOUA).
Amendments to three articles in the LOUA proposed in a recent draft law would legitimise 25,000 homes in Andalucia that were unwittingly built on land not zoned for development.
Not all property-owners will be let off the hook under the proposals which affect thousands of homes in Almeria and, above all, in the worst-affected area of the Almanzora Valley.
This is not an amnesty or a legalisation, cautioned Jose Fiscal who heads the regional government’s department of the Environment and Territorial Planning. The proposed amendments will allow owners who bought in good faith to regularise properties not already involved in criminal or administrative lawsuits, Fiscal said during an interview.
Asked to define the difference between legalising and regularising, he explained that the homes would not be included in a municipality’s Urban Development Plan (PGOU) but could be provided with basic infrastructure including water and electricity.
The amendments will not apply to houses built on flood plains or in special protection areas. They must be more than six years old and once regularised may not be extended. Town halls have two years to draw up an obligatory census of the properties liable to be affected.
The draft law must now go through the parliamentary machinery although it is expected to have backing of all political parties. And for thousands of home-owners, it brings to an end years of worry and uncertainty.

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