- Report.The Andalusian coast is heated with new urban projects
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"In urban planning and land management, when the law tightens, bad, and when it loosens, worse." A former public official thus expresses the debate between preventing illegalities by adding rules, and administrative agility through reduction. Today the situation is rather the first, with 496 Andalusian municipalities of almost 800 processing their urban plan, not in vain the average of the process reaches 9 years. There is no mayor who sees his plan approved.
Another 181 PGOUs are approved and adapted to the regional law still in force, and 159 neither started the procedure nor are they adapted. Within a year, the Board expects the birth of the new standard, the LIST (Act to Promote Sustainability of the Territory of Andalusia), which was born with acronyms that will play, and the criticism directed at opening the hand so much that they foresee a 'bubble' identical to that of the 2008 crack.
All the actors do agree that an extraordinary point of administrative complexity had been reached . Already the last socialist government came to process a new law whose "philosophy is the same as ours, only we have simplified it, making a big difference: uniting planning and urban planning," says Mamen Compagni , who in December left the head of the inspection to become general director of Territorial Planning and Urbanism.
She is convinced that the combination of flexibility - "a police state does not work" - and control - "the LIST has many more limitations to growth than the LOUA" - the law of Urban Planning of Andalusia that will die - impregnates the draft bill. together with the LOTA, Land Planning Law. Compagni adds as an advantage to the reduction of terms the shared responsibility with the municipalities.
The mayor of Vélez Málaga, and president of the FAMP Urban Planning Commission, Antonio Moreno (PSOE), disagrees: "We should have real autonomy to manage our land once classified, we are of age and capacity." According to Moreno, the delegation that the LISTA proposes "is a poisoned candy , it should carry an economic memory since we will have to reinforce the inspection" to avoid being 'sneaked' with the responsible statements.
In this regard, few municipalities like Carmona , with 4,000 illegal homes. The new law includes the 2019 regularization decree, and most of the 45 urbanizations in Carmona - whose term is 90,000 hectares - have started the process that, in the end, will end up with the residents paying for the services, points out the mayor, Juan Ávila (PP).
Carmona, after fourteen years processing the PGOU, will start it again, but its mayor is happy. Ávila knows that the lack of Integrated Environmental Assessment will annul his plan, like that of so many municipalities after a Constitutional ruling. But you fully trust the LIST to complete the new one in less than two years. The municipalities may choose to continue the process in progress, or restart it with the new regional standard.
"The new law is extraordinary and hopeful , to applaud," adds Ávila, giving an example: "a company that wanted to locate itself in the countryside because it did not fit in a polygon took, in the best case, a year and a half of procedures. Now, It will be the will of the plenary session with the mandatory urban reports, the processing is reduced by 80% ".
The LIST's quest for speed includes the separation into two of the usual PGOU . There will be a municipal planning plan - land uses - and another one for urban planning, focused on the regeneration and rehabilitation needs of the existing city. Compagni indicates that they want to avoid "cascade" cancellations of urban plans. "If the problem is the lack of gender impact, let it be influenced by that, which has nothing to do with the number of trees," he says.
One aspect without criticism is that municipalities with less than 10,000 inhabitants - if they are not coastal or within a metropolitan area - will use a simplified route , an Urban Delimitation Plan. Until now they followed the same process as a large capital.
"The law does not promote one sector more than another, but facilitates the uses that society demands," says the director general to criticism of favoring the 'brick'. The suspicion of urbanism , after dozens of corruption cases (especially on the coast) and negligence (illegal developments), is a historical constant. The most critical until now, Ecologistas en Acción and CCOO , aim right there, at the division of the land only into urban and rustic, disappearing the developable.
The Board believes that the LOTA, with its restriction on each town not to grow more than 30% of its population and 40% of what was built, caused the municipalities to reserve that maximum, immediately generating speculation and blocking rustic land for future developments. they almost never came. "The areas of opportunity, for example, have been a failure," says the director.
"No sector can be demonized," adds Compagni, convinced that " there will be no other Marbellas , the current cases come from the past, there are many controls and greater environmental awareness."
Juan Aguilera , manager of the Seville construction association, Gaesco , admits the "fame of being the bad guys, but it is not so, the administration in this law retains the essential, the approval or not of the plan; which makes no sense that there are inoperative planning ", and he cites the case of Seville, with a large amount of land reserved for offices when" there is no market ".
"Every 10 years we have a crisis, and we have always contributed to getting out of them, we are a locomotive sector, a generator of employment, " replies Aguilera. Compagni hopes that they will accuse him of favoring "all sectors", since the "harshness of the situation that the coronavirus has left" forces an effort for employment in which he places the LIST.
The coastal chapter is solved by the preliminary draft in two articles, but the general director emphasizes the demands that she poses on local or subregional plans. "If they are met, it is to give us a song in the teeth," he explains in his line that fewer standards, but effective compliance .
As a former director of inspection, she relies on discipline. The law will include the presence of deputy inspectors of the Board in all provinces, and it already announces that the body's work plan will focus on avoiding new illegal and coastal developments. "There will be more visits to the territory, they will quadruple the activity."
The permission to build isolated houses on rustic land will be a novelty in Andalusia. Compagni goes to the argument that it was already included in the PSOE project, and stresses that "the solution that has failed is not worth it, to be very restrictive, it is necessary to demand that the parameters are really met, as they do not prevent the normal operation of the ordinary uses, which are the primary ones ". Ecologists in Action affirms that "this norm opens the doors to the generalization of second residences in the countryside ."
This association considers two articles of the draft unconstitutional: those that allow "any livestock route affected by an urban project to be automatically unaffected", and "eliminating the obligation to submit to Strategic Environmental Assessment to certain urban plans."
The general director of Urbanism believes that the black years - for some gold - of urban corruption occurred in "circumstances that have nothing to do with the current ones, now there are people who can make mistakes." In addition to the 'new environment', he trusts the future law: "Simplification does not go against legal certainty or environmental protection."
Marbella and fear
The colossal urban scandal of Marbella caused modifications to the current law, the LOUA, "from fear, preventing the development of almost all plans," says Cristina Murillo, dean of the College of Architects of Seville. That volume of administrative guarantees "made any construction impossible, and the real effect is that many are illegal. What do you do now?"
Murillo agrees with the Board that in Andalusia there is little room today to speculate, especially on the Costa del Sol, "where 70% of the cranes should be". But he is concerned that the law has always been behind reality since it is paid by the most disadvantaged. "If urbanism grows in a disorderly way, it divides first and second-class citizens, and that can only be ordered by planning, which must sew the degraded territories to the municipalities, and at the same time endow them with soil with realistic procedures."
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