650 homes across Cuevas declared illegal by courts

Some 650 homes across Cuevas del Almanzora have been deemed illegal after a judge rolled up dozens of separate court cases into one massive case and confirmed the annulment of the towns 2003 zoning plan (PGOU). The PGOU, ruled the Judge, went against the planning laws at the time and should never have been permitted.

This means that hundreds of home owners of all nationalities have suddenly discovered that their building license have been revoked, as well as shops, a commercial centre, and more all facing demolition if the matter is sent to penal court.

This has been rumbling on since 2009, when Cuevas’s PGOU was originally declared to be “null and void” by the courts. This ruling means that all homes built on “urban land” which has now been returned to rustic land are illegal.

The councillor for urban planning at Cuevas admitted that his townhall was involved in over 26 different court cases at the moment. “This bloody plan has bought nothing but trouble” he told the press.

When all this first went to court, I remember the Mayor of Cuevas had to appear as a witness. When the Judge asked him how he didn’t notice the thousands of homes being built illegally in his town, the Mayor said, with a straight face, that he never went to that part of town and so couldn’t be help responsible, because he’d never seen the works!

The Supreme Court of Andalucia in January of this year confirmed the annulment of the plan, and refused to allow the town hall to rezone the lands to make them urbanisable, ruling that retrospective alterations could not be permitted simply to allow the physical reality to comply with the legal nature of the land when the land could not be made urbanisable today.

One of the rulings is about to be sent to the penal courts after a judge ruled that the homes built in “La Portilla” urbanisation was a criminal case. These 50 homes were built on green space, when the use of the land specifically at the time rejected any building on it.

No demolitions have yet been ordered, as this is administrative courts. But the public prosecutor is likely to send all the homes to penal courts to ask for a demolition order, in accordance with the law. The supposed “amnesty” going through the Parliament for illegal homes won’t apply to these, I understand, as they are already involved in court cases.

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