JUDGES in Motril have sentenced the mayor of Castell de Ferro-Gualchos to one year in prison for town planning irregularities.

PSOE mayor Miguel Torres Maldonado has also been banned from holding public office for seven years.

The court heard how the mayor granted a licence in December, 1999, that allowed for the construction of 13 houses in the Rambla de los Hileros in Castell de Ferro which exceeded the town’s restrictions placed on a building’s height.

In some cases the houses had five floors instead of the allowed two.

The secretary and technical architect of the council have also been sentenced to a year behind bars.

Judges also ordered Torres Maldonado to pay 60,000 euros in compensation to residents affected by the illegal building.

The mayor said he would appeal the judges’ decision.

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