Last week’s meeting held between representatives of SOHA (Save Our Homes Axarquía) and the Junta de Andalucía resulted in a step forward for owners of illegal properties in the area. The association, which is formed by some 400 foreign residents who built homes with municipal planning permission, has reported that the secretary general for Territorial Planning at the regional_Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Environment, Gloria Vega, has agreed to study their proposals.
At the meeting the association put forward the situation of its members, who built properties with a licence from the local town hall and always respected the plans handed in to the local authority. They argue that they should not be penalised for the fact that the local authorities granted the permission against planning regulations which led to the Junta de Andalucía later revoking the licences. SOHA president Phillip Smalley, maintains that members have always acted in good faith with the intention of complying with the law.
The Junta’s Decree passed earlier this year fails to give these properties legal status, putting them instead in a category known as ‘asimilado a fuera de ordenación’, something SOHA has never accepted.
“There are cases of licences that have been annulled by the courts when the house is surrounded by dozens of properties in the same planning situation but which have seen no intervention by the authorities. We feel it is unfair that many who didn’t apply for a licence at all end up better off than those who did get one according to the Decree. They can’t have they licences annulled because they haven’t got one”, explains Phillip Smalley.
The next step, according to the president, is for SOHA to send in a list of proposals and requests to be studied by the Junta de Andalucía. They now hope that the authority will take their situation into account and modify the Decree so that their properties can be fully legalised.