Monday, August 01, 2005

Marbella seeks amnesty on illegally built Spanish properties

Officials in Marbella are seeking an amnesty on existing illegally built holiday homes, amidst fears that innocent buyers could face their properties being destroyed. Continued high demand for holiday homes in prime Spanish locations has led to the mass development of cheap properties along the coast, many of which were erected without planning permission. Subsequently, local authorities on the Costa del Sol are considering demolishing all illegally constructed homes, with a view to formalising house building in the region.

Out of the 45,000 or so properties that have been illegally constructed along the Spanish coast almost half are located in Marbella. For property owners in the region, concerns are mounting over the future of their homes. In a bid to resolve the issue officials in Marbella are now lobbying neighbouring councils to allow a full amnesty on al existing illegal builds.

"Those who have bought apartments in good faith should not be punished," Juan Sanchez, President of the Association of Western Costa del sol Towns, told the Guardian. "The costs of compensation should be assumed by developers or town halls," he added.

It is thought that somewhere close to a third of all of Spain's Mediterranean coastline has been taken up by the construction of new homes. Spanish environment minister Cristina Narbona, has announced a plan to buy up "ecologically sensitive" land and private property that prevents access to the beach, in a pre-emptive, protective measure. Authorities are yet to reveal exactly how much is being spent on the land purchases, which will take effect in "exceptional cases".

Over the course of 2004 Spain saw more new houses built than Germany, France and Italy combined, continuing a remarkable trend that has resulted in over 20 per cent of all Spanish properties being built over the past decade. Popular locations including Barcelona, Marbella and the Costa del Sol have seen a dramatic surge in house-building, meeting demand for modestly sized and priced properties in prime regions. Last year 54,000 people moved to Spain, some 15 per cent of the total number of people (360,000) who moved abroad overall, and it is thought that nearly 70,000 Brits currently own a holiday home in Spain.


Post a Comment

<< Home