Saturday, 9 October 2010

Making legal what was illegal in Jimena

(Source: Press release) Under the title 'Important Step Ahead Toward Unblocking the Town Planning Situation at Los Chorros', the Council sent out a press release yesterday to say that there are moves afoot to make what was once illegal, legal. The first time we posted anything on the subject on August 2, 2008  under the title, Silence from the Council, where the subject came up as a question on matters pending (and you can see a whole lot more if you type 'los chorros' into the search engine on our old host, JimenaPulse on Wordpress)or go in for a  little background below:>
  • An area in Estacion, now Los Angeles, was divided into plots and sold by a developer and people were allowed to build on them.
  • The area had not been qualified as 'urbanizable' by the Council. People continued to build.
  • Councillor Fernando Gomez appears in Court
  • Gomez and Collado say Los Chorros is 'legal and transparent'
  • In a Council Plenary session, Mayor Pascual Collado reported that the subsidiary regulations affecting Los Chorros and that are part of the PGOU, will be approved by the end of the year (September 8, 2008)
  • The Council for Housing and Territorial Regulation of the Junta de Andalucía will subsidize 100% of adapting Jimena’s PGOU (Plan General de Ordenación Urbana, or General Urban Ordination Plan) to Andalucía’s Territorial Ordinance Plan (Plan de Ordenación del Territorio de Andalucía, or POTA in its Spanish acronym). This according to the Council’s provincial delegate, Gabriel Almagro, who met with Mayor Pascual Collado yesterday. The grant is available to municipalities of less than 20,000 inhabitants. (September 19, 2008.) Prospero Note: When I arrived back in Jimena in 1991, the 'new' PGOU was mentioned at one of the very first meetings I had then with former Mayor, now Senator, Jose Carracao. It was then about to be approved - we're still waiting, while current building regulations date back to the early 1980s. The Los Chorros issue depends largely on the PGOU and the POTA; as yesterday's press release says: Then [in 2008] the Council and the Provincial Delegation for Housing of the Junta agreed to a detailed modification of what is known as the Subsidiary Norms for Town Planning in the municipality [i.e. the current building regulations] to rate the area [of Los Chorros] as 'non-sectioned urbanizable land'. The next step, which is being carried out now, is to write a 'sectioning' project* and a partial plan that, once approved would lead to the creation of a compensation commission, the re-plotting of the area and the writing of an urbanization project. *It has taken over two years to get to this stage! Why? Possibly for some of the reasons mentioned below and extracted from updates on the old JimenaPulse.
  • Opposition party to join prosecution in Jimena court cases
  • Mayor meets would-be Los Chorros residents
  • Ex-Mayor Ildefonso Gomez and Councillor Fernando Gomez in court
  • Several former and present members of Jimena Council have been in and out of court in San Roque, some as witnesses to possible building illegalities and others impugned on the subject. What is evident, however, is that the Council of Jimena has not come clean. People have allegedly been allowed to build illegally, without permits or licences but by ‘word of mouth’ and they are now being taken to court for doing so. Alas, it is also allegedly true of several other places in the municipality, so we await the prosecutors’ pronunciation on this and other similar matters. (December 16, 2008 - and we're still waiting.)
  • Provincial Commission approves Los Chorros modification (December 17, 2008)
  • Five present and former councillors in court (February 4, 2009)
  • Council Secretary Cristina Barrera has stated to the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Cádiz and to the judge at Court Number 1 in San Roque that the files sent to court regarding Los Chorrros were 'conditioned by a decision of the Mayor, Pascual Collado' and are thus 'discriminatory'. (March 20, 2009).
  • Mayor denies 'discrimination' at Los Chorros. (March 21, 2009)
  • Jimena Council Secreatry is leaving (March 30, 2009)
  • Jimena Secretary 'leaves under pressure' (Translated from EuropaSur on April 1, 2009)
And that is the last we hear about it until yesterday's press release. Just one thing, though: the Council is still waiting for a new Secretary, though a temporary one takes notes at Council sessions and signs papers. However, as it says in the last item above, 'the General Secretary of a Council is the highest ranking civil servant at a Town Hall. The job and its functions are clearly established in law'.

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