Hope for an end to “planning nightmare”, housing association says

Hope for an end to “planning nightmare”, housing association says

BRITISH owners of irregular properties have reasons to be optimistic their “planning nightmare” will come to an end, according to the AUAN housing association.

At a meeting with British residents of Zurgena and Arboleas, AUAN lawyer Gerardo Vazquez explained new legal measures the Andalucia regional government is adopting which affect properties which fail to comply with current planning regulations.

Vazquez outlined the importance of the Junta de Andalucia’s General Directorate of Urban Planning’s recent instruction, 6/2019. He said it is “aimed at allowing a way out for irregular houses already included in an unexecuted town plan, normally on unconsolidated urban land, via a permit known as an AFO.”

An AFO permits owners to connect to available services like water and electricity and to register their homes.

“Curiously”, AUAN said in a statement, AFOs are “already permitted for houses that have a greater environmental impact, that is to say those situated in a rural location and not destined to be incorporated into a municipal plan”,

This measure is due to be followed by a decree, which could be approved in the coming weeks, and which is expected to extend the AFO to houses situated on urbanisations, known as ‘asentamientos’ which have yet to be incorporated into a town plan, the AUAN lawyer told the meeting.

Vazquez also spoke about his “great personal satisfaction” when he “helped to put an end to the planning nightmare suffered by people from other countries who came here to buy a house and who were let down.”

He cited the example of a British couple in their eighties who just a few days earlier had at last been able to use an AFO to obtain the deeds for their house “after 17 years of worry and anguish.”

AUAN said it expected British homeowners who can now benefit from the Junta’s change in criteria will begin to submit requests for AFOs.

AUAN president and planning struggles veteran Maura Hillen, who was also present at the meeting, confirmed this.

“Those affected are looking at this possibility with great hope, and we are recommending that they take up this opportunity and begin to act”, Hillen commented.

She added, “From AUAN we hope that the affected town halls will apply the law correctly and appropriately in a manner that respects the rights of citizens, using the new tools that the Junta has given them, and we will be vigilant that they do so.”  

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