17 April 2018 – El País
The Ministry of Development, the Town Hall of Madrid and the property developer Distrito Castellana Norte have reached an agreement to give the green light to Operación Chamartín, the largest urban planning project in Madrid. After more than two decades of blockades, the new plan reduces the buildability of the previous projects, with the construction of 10,510 homes in the north of the capital, 6,500 fewer than initially planned, plus a large business centre and the remodelling of the train station.
The Minister for Development, Íñigo de la Serna (pictured above), confirmed on Tuesday, that his Ministry, the Town Hall of Madrid and the property developer Distrito Castellana Norte had finally reached an agreement to initiate the procedures for the modification of the General Urban Development Plan (PGOU) of the Madrid Nuevo Norte project, known as Operación Chamartín.
In this way, the largest urban development plan in Madrid has been unblocked (at least on paper) after 25 years of obstacles and litigation cases under different governments, both from the Central Executive as well as from the Town Hall of Madrid, although the building work will not start for several years.
The project is a modification of the agreement principle reached last July, but with significant changes, such as a 6% reduction in the buildability, down from 2.83 million m2 to 2.66 million m2. Compared to the size of the project when Ana Botella was leader of the Town Hall in 2015 (3.37 million m2), the decrease in buildability amounts to more than 26% (…).
20% of the homes will be subsidised (2,100 homes), double the minimum established by law, and the Town Hall led by Manuela Carmena has already announced that it will allocate the cession of use that corresponds to it to social housing. Moreover, a business centre spanning 1 million m2 is going to be built and Chamartín train station will be renovated, with the permission of Adif, a subsidiary of the Ministry of Development.
De la Serna explained that the documentation to begin the processing of the project was registered on Monday with a document that seeks to give the green light to this urban transformation, which means that in July, the initial approval will be received and the process will be completed by the end of the year (…).
Original story: El País (by Ramón Muñoz)
Translation: Carmel Drake