I had the opportunity to meet with Antonio Zapata (PSPV-PSOE) with a couple of concerned property owners this last week with the purpose of clarifying some of the rumours from diverse sources. In previous official statements & publications by the planning departments intention to regularize illegal homes in the municipality (PRV) has been initiated with initially the contracting of a company to take aerial photos to see any differences since the last flyover in 2009. The fly over will bring to light any property that is not paying rates, properties that have been extended, had pools added etc which have not been registered with the rates office.
Antonio Zapata told us that in the case where there are groups of illegally built properties it was possible to contract an architect to prepare plans to indicate the changes needed to regularize the properties; pavements, changes in electrical instillations, connection to sewerage mains etc. Once the plans have been produced then the cost can be calculated to bring the infrastructure for group of properties up to the standard which will merit regularization. The regularization is for properties that are outside the general plan (PGOU) these properties have been built without the proper planning permissions and deemed illegal resulting in many difficulties for the property owners such as difficulty in getting proper supply of electricity and water also difficulty in reselling said properties. All the costs involved in regularization will have to be paid by the property owners and it is up to those who want the property regularized to initiate this process.
There was very little information that Antonio could give us because the project is still at its very early stages. He told us that he could not give any assurance that the regularization would be accepted by the Valencian Communities planning departments although they have had their backing up until now.
As of yet this information has not been publicized on the OrihuelaTown hall web site www.orihuela.es neither has it been commented on in the local press. Antonio’s comment was that this move is at a very early stage of development. Since the last publication concerning this issue the office designated to deal with the publics questions about these issues of regularization has not opened its doors as of yet. Although the time for the head of planning to deal directly with the pubic in person is between 8.30am and 10.30am, getting appointment to discuss these issues is unlikely because there has not been any changes to comment about in resent months.
There is also the issue of the political stability of the current party at the town hall. Because of the lack of a majority vote and the instability of the coalition party there is the possibility that in the near future the existing party will be replaced and then these current issues will be re-assessed according to the new administrations criteria. Because there is no rules dictating on how to legalize properties there is the risk that some expensive steps can be taken only for these “advances” to be of no validity under a new political administration. Perhaps it would be better to wait until there is a bit more clarity with official publication about appropriate steps to be taken.