SOHA wants homes built more than 12 years ago to be accepted without review

Mario Blancke and Philip Smalley at Wednesday's meeting. sur
Mario Blancke and Philip Smalley at Wednesday's meeting. sur
  • The Axarquía campaign group thanked regional government for officially recognising the existence of irregular properties but raised several concerns

Save Our Homes Axarquía (SOHA) presented on Wednesday the organisation's proposed changes to a draft regional planning law - the Ley de Impulso para la Sostenibilidad del Territorio de Andalucía (LISTA). If passed, this law will replace the existing urban development law, Ley de Ordenación Urbanística de Andalucía (LOUA).

Included in SOHA's proposals is a reduction in the time after construction, from the proposed 20 years down to 12, beyond which licences would not automatically undergo detailed examination before irregular homes could be absorbed into local town plans with official status, the so-called AFO (Asimilado Fuera de Ordenacíon).

This would benefit hundreds of homes built before 2008, said SOHA spokesperson, Mario Blancke. To go back 20 years, he pointed out, could see up to 600,000 official documents of 300,000 Andalusian homes potentially reviewed, which would hold up the process for many and lengthen uncertainty. Getting AFO status allows irregular homes to connect to mains supplies and protects from demolition.

The other SOHA proposal highlighted was for land on which individual, scattered houses have been built to be classified as urban instead of rural, and so ending disputes over historic rights of way, allowing more homes to apply for the AFO status.

SOHA also called on the Axarquía's town halls to agree on fixed fees to obtain AFO status. Blancke said that there is currently a big difference between town halls.

SOHA president, Philip Smalley, thanked the regional government, the Junta de Andalucía, for including in the draft law the existence of irregular houses for the first time. He pointed out that irregular homes are very different from illegal homes, as owners paid fees for licences in good faith.