Sunday, 11 October 2009

What's cooking in the POT?

POT is the Spanish acronym for Plan de Ordenación Territorial, which translates loosely into Territorial Development Plan. It covers districts rather than specific municipalities (these are covered by PGOUs, or General Development Plans, also transalted loosely - the number of acronyms and initials in anything bureaucratic is astoundingly confusing, which we suspect is on purpose), is created and written by the Junta de Andalucía and must be followed (obeyed?) by local authorities. It is important, then, that it be studied carefully by them (municipalities) and that allegations against it are accurate and in the best interests of everyone. Among other things, the POT is where the PGOU comes from - so it decides where and what can be built, developed or otherwise succumb to the hand of Man. A pretty basic document, we venture.>
It's what's in the POT that is now giving headaches to local and regional politicians. In Jimena, there is a tira y afloja ('push-me-pull-you', sort of) between the PSOE and opposition Partido Andalucista (PA). The former has refused to show the latter its plans for the municipality, saying that anyone can see it when it is at the public allegations stage. Press releases have flown across the firing line over the last couple of weeks.
To summarize, a PA Councillor asked officially to be shown what the Council was up regarding this document. The Mayor answered that it had no obligation to show it to anyone before it went public, whereupon the PA came up with several sites where it could be found. The PA objected to the Mayor's attitude, saying "no-one but PSOE Councillors can see it."

One of the thorns in this bed of brambles is something called área de oportunidad turística, or 'tourism opportunity area', that would/could affect an intermediate area between the Guadiaro and Hozgarganta rivers in the municipality of Jimena. Any development in that area would impact very heavily on the future of Jimena, which, as a PSOE stronghold, should not be left to any single party to handle or comment on. Party interests should be left exclusively to the party, which when in power should have everyone's interest at heart. This, of course, is a Utopian vision of reality.
While Jimena Municipal Technical Office, i.e. the Town Architect and his team (most belonging to the PSOE), studies the draft POT in detail, we understand that several allegations are to be presented against it, particularly one that seeks to expand that área de oportunidad turística.
The POT is, to quote one of the press releases, a "town planning instrument for the entire metropolitan area of the Campo de Gibraltar, an area that covers 1,541 square kilometres and a population of 261,387." And "the creation of these tourism opportunity areas is one of the stand-out points of the POT draft."
Aside from the area between the two rivers mentioned above (cleverly called Entrerrios - 'between two rivers'), there are other similar plans for Sotogrande, Guadalquitón, Portichuelos (San Roque), Valdevaqueros and Los Lances (both in Tarifa). Still others, though called áreas de oportunidd residencial, are planned for the future in Los Barrios and Castellar, plus un-cutely-named business and commercial development (industrial estate opportunities?) for San Roque.

See the POT, in Spanish (no, we're not translating it!) at:

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