land Market News: Spanish Real Estate Intelligence

Madrid's Most Indebted Town To Pay €3M More Due To Fraudulent Ex-Mayor

20 October 2017 - El Confidencial

The political legacy of Baltasar Santos (pictured below), who served as the mayor of Navalcarnero for 20 years (between 1995 and 2015), is still taking its toll on the public coffers. According to the Ministry of Finance, Navalcarnero is the most indebted town in the Community of Madrid (and number 24 in the ranking for the whole of Spain). Each one of its 27,000 residents owed more than €3,700 as at the end of 2016. Then, the tax authority based its calculation of financial debt of €101 million, although the current Government estimates that the figure is more like €230 million. And that amount is expected to increase gradually due to the steady trickle of legal rulings that are going to be made against the previous Town Hall due to mismanagement by the former PP-party mayor.

The most recent ruling, issued by the Provincial Court of Madrid on 28 September, ordered the Town Hall to pay €2.8 million (plus legal interest) to around fifteen local residents and companies because the local Government, led then by Santos, sold them land that was not actually owned by the Town Hall (…).

This is the first ruling of its kind, but José Luis Adell, the current (socialist) mayor, expects that more will follow, unfortunately, against the Town Hall due to the “disastrous management by Santos” (…). We estimate that we are going to pay around €70 million in relation to these types of rulings, which will increase the municipal debt to €300 million (…).

Nobody knows where Baltasar Santos is now. He was expelled from the PP in 2015, after hiding from the party that he had been charged for several legal misdemeanours. Santos participated in the municipal elections that year with another political party, URCI (...) but resigned just a few months later, in October 2015, just like he had done previously. Nobody has replaced him. The Town Hall has created an investigation committee to analyse his management. Moreover, it has engaged legal counsel so that all of the irregularities that have been detected can be brought to justice and it has asked the Chamber of Accountants to audit Navalcarnero’s accounts for the financial years from 2007 until 2015.

Original story: El Confidencial (by David Fernández)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Land Use In Espai Vila-Real May Be Modified

20 October 2017 - El Periódico Mediterráneo

“Clearly, times have changed”. With that phrase, José Benlloch, the mayor of Vila-real, acknowledged that the plots of land in Espai Vila-real may be reclassified (in terms of their use), now that the Government has decided that the intermodal station will not be constructed in Castellón.

One door closes, but others open, and the Town Hall wants to be prepared not to waste its opportunities. It is for that reason that Benlloch is planning to meet the owners of the land, spanning 1 million m2, which comprises this Comprehensive Action Plan (PAI), to find out “what options are being considered in terms of its ownership and to inform them about the current possibilities”.

The mayor seems willing to modify the uses of the land if necessary and to “change the terms of the program, provided there are expectations on the part of the owners”. The one option the municipal corporation has ruled out is the large shopping centre that the Popular Government’s team, led by Juan José Rubert, planned in 2007. That plan included, amongst other matters, the arrival of the Swedish multinational Ikea in the town.

Mediterranean Corridor

One of the options that is gaining strength at the moment is the conversion of these plots, located opposite Porcelanosa, into a logistics hub, linked to the construction of the third strand of the Mediterranean Corridor. Such infrastructure is being demanded not only by the Regional Government but also by most of Valencia’s businesses. “We are aware that if this goes ahead, users will need places for storing goods temporarily, and we think that these plots are perfect for that, given that they are located in the heart of a very industrial district, La Plana Baixa”, explained the mayor.

Even though this idea will be on the table at the meeting between the Town Hall and the landowners, Benlloch is convinced that this question may be “compatible” with other proposals linked to the installation of new industries and projects relating to services, as well as the business that may be negotiated over the next few months. That said, the mayor wants to begin the new phase that is been opened by drawing “a roadmap that is shared” with the owners.

Original story: El Periódico Mediterráneo (by Xavi Prera)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Castilla-La Mancha Welcomes Production Activities On Rural Land

20 October 2017 - Inmodiario

The Director-General of Housing and Town Planning for Castilla-La Mancha, José Antonio Carillo, has participated in the opening ceremony of the VII Annual Meeting of the Partners of the Spanish Association of Town Planning Technicians (‘Asociación Española de Técnicos Urbanistas’ or AETU), held in the Assembly Room at the College of Architects in Toledo.

Experts from all over the country participated in the meeting about matters relating to territorial and urban planning, debating current affairs issues with experts such as José María Baño León, Professor of Administrative Law at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and José María Ezquiaga Domínguez, dean of the College of Architects of Madrid and author of several general municipality plans, including for Puertollano, Cuenca and Guadalajara.

Carrillo took advantage of the occasion to make reference to regulatory innovations promoted by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha in the regional sphere, which regulate the subject and which have been specified in the Order dated 1 February 2016 and in the laws 3/2016, dated 5 May and 3/2017, dated 1 September, which amended the LOTAU.

The purpose of this modification, amongst others, is to facilitate the installation of production activities on rural land in small towns in Castilla-La Mancha, as well as to undertake urban regeneration operations in certain neighbourhoods of the region’s cities and towns, in collaboration with other housing policies and instruments, such as the Urban Regeneration and Renewal Areas (ARRUs), launched during this legislature in Sigüenza, Molina de Aragón and Toledo; and to which other initiatives and projects have now been added, such as those in Illescas, Tembleque and Tarancón, amongst others.

The Director-General has said that “García-Page’s Government is very clear about the priorities in terms of Urban Planning, and they include streamlining the procedures that correspond to the municipalities of the whole Autonomous Region, as well as making more flexible and facilitating even further the work that the region’s small towns are performing in this regard”, in such a way that, he continued, “town planning represents an engine for growth for them and not a burden of paperwork that may hinder the business initiatives that arise in their territory” (…).

Original story: Inmodiario

Translation: Carmel Drake