Man absolved after adding extension and pool to illegal home on proposed World Heritage site

JUDGES in Córdoba have acquitted the owner of one of the 240 illegal homes on the protected Medina Azahara site for extending the property even though it faces demolition.

The defendant, who built a swimming pool and an extra room at his house at the Las Pitas development, was facing two years imprisonment as well as a 3,240 euro fine.

Even though the entire housing complex had been constructed on protected land, the owner of the house proceeded to extend it by 25 square metres and build a pool in the garden in 2006.

But on December 7, magistrate José Antonio Carnerero ruled that no punishment should be imposed, despite acknowledging the illegal conduct of the accused.

Carnerero pointed out that the entire development is “illegal, but built with the consent of the authorities.”

Carnerero had already absolved one owner of an illegal Medina Azahara property and is set to try five others in the near future.

The magistrate blamed the existence of the illegal homes on the incompetence of the local administrations, stating “the widespread lack of adherence to town planning laws and the lack of effectiveness within the council should not result in the criminalization of all.”

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