By Eloise Horsfield
HOMEOWNERS who have had no electricity for up to five years have been left in the lurch after a ‘disappointing’ meeting with their town hall planning boss.
Over 10,000 people in Chiclana de la Frontera, Cadiz – of whom around 1,600 are foreign residents – are not connected to the grid, despite most having done everything by the book when they bought their houses.
“We are so tired of this,” said Roger Alan Homes, president of foreign residents’ association Chifra.
“It is just not fair.
“Lots of the people I represent have health issues, and many have been threatened with demolition, and yet they cannot even put the lights on in their homes.
“Many do not want to admit to having no electricity because they are worried about the legal consequences of using neighbours’ meters.
“When in fact, these are people who bought their houses through lawyers and notaries, spending their life savings and often coming here to live out their retirements.
But when four Chifra members met with the town hall planning boss Marisol Ayala (PVRE party) last week, they said she hardly listened to their requests.
“Her party was formed with the sole aim of addressing the illegal homes issue,” said Homes. “And yet she hardly listened to what we had to say.”
The independent PVRE party, or ‘Neighbourhood Regionalist Party’, was created in 2010 with the objective of ‘solving all types of irregular or illegal planning matters’.
It won two seats in Chiclana Town Hall in the May 2011 election.
The main point of contention was Chiclana’s town plan, which after being thrown out last year resorted back to the plan of 1987 – meaning many homes do not even appear on it.
“Mrs Ayala’s answer was that the new plan would be written up at the beginning of 2013 at the earliest,” said Homes.
“This is very bad news for the thousands of citizens, both expats and Spaniards, with irregular housing in Chiclana.”