Valdebebas Takes First Steps to Unblock its Construction Licences

24 November 2017 – Expansión 

On 30 November, the Valdebebas Compensation Board (Madrid) is going to approve the largest land reparcelling project in history, which will involve the processing of 15,000 registry notifications. That will allow the unblocking of the licence granting procedure, which is affecting almost 4,700 homes, around 40% of the total planned for the area.

In total, 11,400 homes are planned for Valdebebas. Currently, 4,800 units have received their first occupancy licences and another 2,000 are being built. Moreover, 850 homes are under development and 3,800 are pending development. These two last categories are affected by the block imposed. More than 16,000 people already live in Valdebebas and by the end of the year, there will be around 18,000.

“We want to comply with the route map set out by the Town Hall. The mere beginning of this process should give rise to the lifting of the suspension over the granting of licences”, explained the Managing Director of the Board, Marcos Sánchez, to Expansión.

With the economic reparcelling, the pending urban planning charge, which amounts to €30 million, is redistributed. The previous reparcelling, approved in 2015, was annulled by the High Court of Justice (TSJM). It also ruled that the special plan for the so-called ‘Pastilla Comercial’ was void.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake


Cataluña’s High Court Cancels Moratorium On New Hotels In Ciutat Vella

4 October 2017 – Inmodiario

Section 3 of the Administrative Chamber of the High Court of Justice in Cataluña has upheld the appeal submitted against the approval of the agreement by the Town Hall of Barcelona of the Modification of the Special Plan for public establishments, hotels and other activities in Ciutat Vella and has annulled the obligation to obtain the withdrawal of one or more existing hotel licences equal in number to or exceeding the new hotel activity.

The legislation was approved by the CiU municipal government in July 2013 with the support of the PP. The aim, as the Town Hall explains in its argument against the appeal, was to maintain hotel beds, but relocate them within the district, to avoid over-concentration in specific areas.

The Town Hall alleges that the modification to the special plan for public establishments, hotels and other activities, whose articles 14 and 20 the TSJC has now annulled, is governed by urban planning criteria and not by economic or tourism policies, with the aim of achieving a better relationship between visitors and the resident population.

For the complainant, which owns several properties that it purchased to operate as hotels, the obligation to “withdraw” a number of licences equal to or exceeding the volume of the new hotel activity makes the implementation of these tourist establishments “prohibitive and unfeasible economically”.

In its opinion, the legislation affects the sphere of private relations and creates a “market for licences”, an argument that the court agrees with. The court highlights that it already annulled a similar ruling from 2010, which talked about the “renouncing” of licences rather than their “withdrawal”.

For TSJC, this change in nomenclature means “coining” a new term, which stands out due to its “vulgarity” and also generates “clear legal uncertainty”, since, in reality, it is a “non-specific legal term that is completely inscrutable”.

According to the court, the “poorly named withdrawal” continues to be just as illegal as the “renouncement”, and will only end up “making the market for licences more endogamic, if that’s possible”. That is because, according to the annulled regulations, someone can only access a hotel licence if they previously held one, which “drives a parallel and artificial market of licences and ownerships”, says the court.

Original story: Inmodiario

Translation: Carmel Drake

DCN Files Appeal Against Suspension Of Operación Chamartín

1 August 2016 – Expansión

On Friday, the company Distrito Castellana Norte submitted an administrative appeal before the High Court of Justice in Madrid. Through this measure, DCN seeks to obtain a ruling that nullifies the agreement whereby the Town Hall of Madrid suspended Operación Chamartín.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Operación Chamartín: BBVA Prepares To Denounce Carmena

5 July 2016 – Cinco Días

The President of Distrito Castellana Norte, Antonio Béjar, has revealed that the company’s legal team will present an appeal to the High Court of Justice in Madrid (TSJM) within the next few weeks to denounce the nullity of the decision taken by the Town Hall to reject this project under development, known as Operación Chamartín.

In an interview with Europa Press, Béjar also detailed that “later on” and if the “blocking” situation continues, DCN’s legal team will submit a claim for damage to property and economic losses against the Town Hall after it rejected its plans without any technical basis, even though they fulfil the General Urban Development Plan (PGOU).

The President of Distrito Castellana Norte, the entity driven by BBVA and Grupo San José, expressed his “disappointment” at the position adopted by the Town Hall for denying its development plan based on “primarily political criteria, with no technical or legal basis”.

Regarding whether the outcome of the elections may change the Town Hall’s position and facilitate negotiations, Béjar said that the municipal government team has expressed “publically that its position was going to mainly depend” on the political decision taken by the Ministry of Development (Ana Pastor is a supporter of DCN’s project) in the event that there is a change in government.

“The Town Hall will have to take a decision in this regard. Meanwhile, we will not rest on our laurels, it is our duty to defend our rights when we understand that they have not been adequately addressed”, said the President of DCN.

“We are convinced that the courts will overturn the Town Hall’s decision, we consider that the reasons employed have no legal grounds”, he added to indicate that, according to the criteria set forth in its appeal, the Town Hall may only reject the definitive approval of the plan if it is able to cite reasons of general interest, whereas, in his opinion, the Town Hall has cited “minor formal reasons”. (…).

Meanwhile, Béjar confirmed that the Town Hall’s “blocking” of the development of Operación Chamartín, by rejecting its plan and presenting its own plan for Madrid Puerta Norte, is “detrimental” for Madrilenians. According to him, the municipal alternative is “not feasible and cannot be carried out in practice”.

“Madrid Puerta Norte – the Town Hall’s alternative project – is a proposal designed to drive out private initiatives…and to allow the public administrations to become the next property developers, using taxpayers’ money…” said the President of DCN. (…).

Original story: Cinco Días

Translation: Carmel Drake