News Articles

12/05/2010 - Catral Town Hall could be held responsible!

The Consell and the Town Hall of Catral could have civil responsibility for the damages suffered by the owners of 1,272 illegal houses built in the countryside of the municipality in the Vega Baja. This legal possibility has been corroborated by a Professor of Administrative and Urban Law at the   University of Alicante, who was consulted by the European Consumers'   Association Urbanism (AECU), an entity that took the case to court in 2004.

Six years later, given the stagnation of the judicial investigation and the intention of the PP Town Hall Administration to charge the affected homeowners the costs of regularisation of illegal homes, the collective is considering taking contentious-administrative action against the Consell and the Town Hall of Catral, to make them assume the costs. ‘According to the abovementioned professor,’ states AECU, ‘the Town Hall of Catral is responsible, as a local public authority, and competent planning authority.’Meanwhile, the Consell is also responsible can also be sued because it has concurrent subsidiary and superior competence. ‘Both have subsidiary civil responsibility, at least by omission, in failing to apply the measures provided for in Valencian planning legislation and allowing and even   encouraging savage urbanism’ adds the statement.


According to AECU, there are only two ways for the legalization of an infringement of urban planning: by demolition or by changing the law to  enable regularization. ‘In Catral, the Town Hall and the Consell have chosen   the second option, but they are charging the deceived buyer almost all the   costs of legalization,’ explains AECU. The owners of the houses, mostly British residents, allege that the Town Council, governed by the PP, intends to pass on the cost of ‘regularization’ to them - about 20,000 euros per proprietor.Those affected also highlight the continued impunity enjoyed by those they understand to be truly responsible for the illegal houses: the developers and builders.The proliferation of illegal homes in Catral prompted the Consell to intervene in the urban planning of the municipality in October 2006. The  Valencian executive has now returned these powers to the Town Hall, but has  not yet approved the project to regularize the houses.