Brit resigns from Almeria council

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NO OPTION: Maura Hillen.

ON FRIDAY June 1 a plenum of Almeria’s provincial council voted on a motion in support of a proposed amendment to the Planning Laws of Andalucia (LOUA).

The amendment, currently before the parliament of Andalucia, proposes to extend the figure of an AFO to properties awaiting full legalisation via a town plan thus allowing them to legally access services and register the property in their name whilst waiting for the lengthy legalisation process to be completed.

The amendment has the support of the homeowners group AUAN. The motion was carried with the support of the People’s Party and Ciudadanos with abstentions from the PSOE and Izquierda Unida.

Prior to the plenum, the PSOE, declared that it did not wish ‘to award’ those who had not complied with the law when they built their home.

Following the vote, Maura Hillen, president of AUAN made the following statement: “Firstly, I would like to thank the PP for the motion in the Diputacion regarding irregular houses, as well as Ciudadanos for supporting it.

“Hopefully, this just initiative will end well, and we are going to work to achieve this. Secondly, I regret to inform you of my resignation as a councillor in the town hall of Albox, which I will formalise on Monday.

“I say this with sadness and I thank the people of Albox for having elected me and the PSOE for having accepted me on their list as an independent candidate.

“In spite of the current difference of opinion I thank the PSOE, especially at a provincial and local level for their contribution towards taking important steps in relation to the legalisation of irregular houses in the Valley of Almanzora and in Andalucia.

“This achievement must be recognised and deserves to be recognised. Thank you also to political parties such as IU for always giving us their support and to the PP without whom the initiatives in the Senate of Spain would not have succeeded because they are the majority party in that chamber.

“It is significant that the PSOE believed in us, and as a consequence three laws were changed in Spain and a multitude of demolitions of properties in the hands of purchasers in good faith were avoided, not only in Andalucia but in diverse parts of Spain.

“However, there is still much to be done, leaving hundreds of thousands of irregular houses in Andalucia, a problem that could affect up to one million people and urgently needs a solution.

“In the Valley of Almanzora, there are still many Britons, who trusted this country when purchasing their house, who remain trapped in houses without being able to sell them because of a byzantine and unjust distinction in the law.

“We have pointed out this unjust distinction, which originates from the reform of the LOUA in 2016, on numerous occasions, but I have come to the conclusion that the political will of the PSOE regarding the need to change is not currently evident, as has been shown this morning, and for this reason I am resigning.

“Hopefully, I am mistaken and I will continue speaking to all the political parties to achieve the approval of this initiative.

“I believe that the planning laws are not written in stone, and it is easy to resolve these problems once and for all – it is only a question of political will, as shown by the PP when they presented this amendment which could resolve the problem of unjust planning distinctions. Ciudadanos have also shown political will by supporting this change.

“A solution is urgently required for reasons of social justice and humanity. We cannot have people living in uncertainty.

“Now is the time to change things, and I am going to concentrate on this. Finally, I send my warmest regards to my fellow councillors on the list of the PSOE in Albox and to all those who have worked with me to improve the planning situation for ordinary people. Thank you all.”

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