What Do We Want?

We believe that the following changes are necessary to resolve the problem and make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

  1. EXTENSION OF THE REGIMEN OF ASSIMILATED TO ‘FUERA DE ORDENACION’ (AFO): The status of assimilated to ‘fuera de ordenacion’ should be given to all houses, whether they are in settlements or scattered rural settlements, granting them a licence of first occupation even before the planning changes take place. The same should apply to houses in areas of special protection which were completed prior to the establishment of the protection and these houses should be subject to the same time limits established in article 185.1 of the LOUA. The concept of assimilation to ‘fuera de ordenacion’ is confusing in the ‘Regularisation Decree’, is inconsistent with case law on the subject and establishes a number of ‘second class’ houses.
  2. RECORD PROCEEDINGS IN THE PROPERTY REGISTER: The initiation and final outcome of any administrative or judicial review or file relating to urban discipline, the restoration of disturbed planning order, or relating to the annulment of licences or planning permissions should be inscribed in the Property Register. Failure to do so should oblige the responsible administration to indemnify the purchaser in good faith of the property for the damage and prejudice caused. This serves to promote legal certainty and prevent administrative neglect that results in prejudice to innocent third parties.
  3. INSCRIPTION OF LIMITATIONS OF USE: As a statutory property right, any limitations or conditions which affect the use of land, or its ownership, for planning or environmental reasons should be the subject of inscription in the Property Register. Failure to do so should oblige the responsible administration to indemnify the purchaser in good faith for the damage and prejudice caused. The Register of Property should reflect reality. Over and above registration, the register should promote the principles of disclosure, the legal authority of the register, the protection of legal transactions and of inscribed rights.
  4. EXPIRY OF ILLEGAL LAND PARCELS: The illegal creation of urban land parcels should be subject to the normal term of expiry established in article 185.1 of the LOUA and the inscription of the subdivision in the Property Register should be allowed. It goes against the constitutional principle of legal certainty not to set a time period in which the administration must act.
  5. DUPLICATION AND LACK OF PROPORTIONALITY IN PROCEEDINGS: Administrative sanctions, which are currently disproportionate, should be tempered. A response via the penal route to an infraction should impede other courses of action. Submitting citizens to a series of different proceedings, added to the possibility of large fines, bankrupts the principle of proportionality.
  6. SETTLEMENTS ON PROTECTED LAND; It should be possible to incorporate a settlement of houses into planning even when the settlement is on protected land, if these houses: are not in zones of public domain or natural risk; when there is no serious damage to the environment; when the environmental values which resulted in the protection no longer exist; and when the demolition of the houses does not serve to effectively restore those values, or when the reestablishment measures are too costly or disproportionate.
  7. FACILITIES FOR INCORPORATION INTO PLANNING: It must be possible, with improved planning standards, cessions and equipment; to establish a regional fund with eligible activities relating to the management of these areas, and to provide aid (deferred payments, loan facilities etc) to families whose economic situation prevents them from meeting the costs of urbanisation without substantial prejudice to their families finances.
  8. INFORMATION AND TRANSPARENCY: Planning proceedings or planning infractions should be communicated individually and effectively to those directly impacted by these proceedings, or to those who may be prejudiced by them. Electronic consultation (via the Internet) of planning and environmental documents, pending approval or approved, should be ensured and should be a prerequisite for their validity. The Catastro should agree with the Property Register in a real and effective way.
  9. PROFESSIONALS INVOLVED IN REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS: Establish measures to ensure the protection of the consumer in the purchase and sale of real estate. Establish the requirement for professionals involved in the negotiation or management of property transactions to meet adequate standards in terms of ability, skill and knowledge. Necessitate proper qualifications and professional indemnity insurance. Establish standards of practice designed to avoid conflicts of interest.
  10. PROMOTERS AND CONSTRUCTORS: Should be covered by adequate guarantees, insurances or sureties, to cover possible liability to third parties, the proof of same should be a requirement in order to operate.
  11. ARBITRATION’S: An independent system of arbitration should be established to settle conflicts between citizens and the administration in matters relating to urban planning.