Spanish Property – The Valencia Land Grab Abuses – LRAU Article PT 2

Spanish Property – The Valencia Land Grab Abuses – LRAU Article PT 2

What Abuses?

What breaches of EU law, Spanish Constitution and Human Rights? Well just in case you missed the past page or two here are the main abuses.

1. Consultation – or lack of it

In any civilised country the land owners have abogado spagna  to be consulted. This is a basic right is it not? However it is a basic right seriously overlooked and ignored in Valencia.

2. Feasibility and environmental impact study

The Generalitat should order a feasibility study and environmental impact study to be conducted. These identify problems such as water shortages, waste disposal, electricity supply (Iberdrola are refusing to grant new licences in some areas because they don’t have the capacity to cope with current demand). Few projects have such a study and where carried out it is questionable they are indeed factual.

For example ‘Las Salinas’ at Calpe had a study. In fact a petition was raised against this urbanisation because of the environmental impact. The Spanish Authorities responded that according to their study there was no impact to consider and the EU washed its hands of it.

However this was very misleading as the project turned out to be a major urbanisation which will destroy hundreds of species of birds, flora and Fauna and water shortages – all conveniently overlooked. No consideration was given to anything except the benefits to developers and town halls to the detriment of the environment and the property owners.

3. Notification of owners

The owners should be notified – in nearly every case they are NOT! These typically are non resident foreigners and no attempt is made to contact them because a legal challenge would hold up the project. Where attempts are made, contact details are typically out of date – and it really isn’t in their interests to identify current owners.

4. Invitation to tenders.

Town halls are required to announce the urbanisation in the local, regional, national and European press for any major contracts – this is basic European Contract Law and applies to all member states. Typically a developer initiates the process and applies pressure on the town halls, in terms of social benefits and inducements – read bribes – allegedly.

A number of cases have been highlighted where mayors have been imprisoned for taking inducements. They push through development plans and only when it is approved do they announce them – giving the owners no time to react.

5. Expropriation of land.

The town halls have the right to steal – lets not mince our words, this is theft – owners land. They can take up to 70% of the land.

Let’s say we agree urban development is a good thing and we don’t mind losing a bit of land – or even paying a bit for the urbanisation. But 70% of your land to go to building roads and infrastructure – come on!

That’s a lot of roads!

Where does this land really go?

I was given some facts about an urbanisation locally. I was told that 10% of the land was for roads, 10% for green areas, 10% for public use. I am no mathematician but I calculate that to be 30%.

He also told me that the landowners lost around 40% in total. So where did the other 10% go to?

This is a typical urbanisation – if 40% is enough for this urbanisation, why, do others feel the need for an additional 30% on top. Where does this land go to?

Have a think about that for a moment.

Many town hall mayors and promoters become VERY rich after an urbanisation. How lucky to find so much land in an area being urbanised. I sure wish I had their foresight.

6. Payment of urbanisation fees.

To add insult to injury the landowners who have lost 70% of their land are presented with a bill for the urbanisation. At an AUN meeting in Benissa, I met a Lady who told me her story. She had a house and 1000M plot. The developers took 700M leaving her with 300M.

Not enough to have a house though – she needs 800M. In order to keep her house she must buy back 500M of her OWN land at the new value – which she cannot afford.

She is presented with a bill for €200,000 for an urbanisation she neither wants nor benefits from. But she has land she can sell I hear you say.

The land is worth about €225,000. She now has no home, little land and no money. She may be lucky and come out of it with a second hand caravan – so why is she complaining eh? She still has somewhere to live hasn’t she? What did she do wrong?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *