THE Supreme Court of Andalucia has dismissed an appeal to suspend radical new land laws.
Officals from Fadeco, a collective of regional housing developers and constructors, believe the Plan de Ordenación del Territorio de Andalucia (POTA) – which seeks to cap rampant urban growth – is “illegal,” claim it outlaws existing construction agreements between local authorities and housing development companies.
However, the region’s highest court has thrown out the appeal claiming “public interest over-rides those of private concerns.”
“With something as delicate such as town planning, something that concerns the life of many citizens, the public interest should always prevail,” said Concepción Gutiérrez, the chief of public works at the Junta de Andalucía regional government, whose department introduced the new law.
The collective, which represents 3,000 development companies, has announced it will launch a private case against the Junta in a bid to outlaw the POTA, which limits a municipalities growth by 30 per cent over eight years.
“This legislation exceeds the Junta’s control over local town halls. Municipal authorities are not subordinate to the regional government. They are a separate identity,” Fadeco general secretary, Emilio Corbacho said.
The Partido Popular political group also opposes the new regulations. Speaking after the court had made its decision, the party’s secretary general, Antonio Sanz, slammed the law, claiming it will lead to the loss of thousands of jobs.
“Not only does this stop regional development, it is an attack on the competency of local authorities.
“The POTA is clearly detrimental to the future of Andalucia and will lead to the loss of jobs.”
His claims are backed by a recent study, which found 44 per cent of the 1,000 housing developers surveyed would consider leaving Andalucía for other autonomous regions of Spain and even abroad “if the POTA restrictions continue.”
The report, compiled by real estate company Cluster and the Institute of Business Practice (IBP), concluded that construction in the region would decrease by 35 per cent as a result of the legislation.
IBP director José Antonio Pérez said: “Those surveyed believe they would lose around a third of their business, resulting in the loss of 4,000 jobs.
“No other region of Spain has such restrictive laws concerning housing and territory.”