Complaints made by owners who bought properties that were built illegally on land that was not for construction over the last twenty years have not been directed solely at the Junta de Andalucía. The owners of these rural homes, the majority of them foreign and members of SOHA (Save Our Homes Axarquía), have also approached the central government to demand changes to the law so that people who bought in good faith are protected.
During the recent European election campaign, members of SOHA had a meeting with the Partido Popular MEP Esteban González Pons in the town of Fines in Almeria.
Mario Blancke, town planning councillor for Alcaucín and spokesperson for SOHA said: “Luckily here there have not been many demolition orders, unlike in other areas of Andalucía such as in Almanzora. There have been cases where the owners, who bought in good faith, have been implicated in the judicial process even though they had licences issued by the Town Hall and all the supporting paperwork.”
Changing the law
According to Blancke, the main problem for the owners of country properties is that the Andalusian laws have not resolved the situation for illegal builds.
“The offence of ‘asimilado fuera de ordenación’ doesn’t apply in these cases as the majority of the houses were built after the land was segregated,” he insisted.
In his opinion the Junta de Andalucía should not keep trying to ‘pass the buck’ to the town halls.
“How can the Junta turn around and say they didn’t know anything about the construction in the countryside? They are equally as responsible as the town halls, if not more so, because they are the ones who took the money for the licences!”