27 Nov, 2008 @ 17:27
1 min read

Were banks linked to planning scandal?


A FURTHER 18 people have been arrested over the continuing investigation into the construction of 30,000 illegal homes in Chiclana.

As well as builders, valuers and estate agents, investigators believe that various bank workers may also be involved.

The arrests revolve around a series of false documents purporting to show properties were older than they were in reality.

The certificates were then used to obtain mortgages from the banks who may have been in collusion.

The arrests bring the number of arrested so far to 57 people in the town, which has become one of the worst black spots for illegal building in Andalucia.

It is estimated that between 2005 and 2007 there was practically no town planning discipline by the council. The current investigation at Chiclana’s Court number 2 has seen 18 people charged with fraud, falsifying documents and breaking land laws.

In particular the claims centre around the area of Canteruelas Viejas, where in 2005 an aerial photo shows that there was only one building standing.

However in 2007, hundreds of new home owners insisted that their homes should be legalised as they had been standing for at least five years.

The police investigation is also now looking to see how closely the banks may have been involved.

The Olive Press reported in June how some 200 Britons had unwittingly bought illegal houses. A local expat association, the Chiclana Foreign Residents Association was set up to tackle the problem.

Chairman Colin Wood said: “Like many people we went through the proper channels to buy our property. We used an estate agent, a lawyer and a notary – even the bank we got our mortgage from looked over the paperwork and everyone said it was OK.

“We fell for it hook, line and sinker.”

The town hall is currently trying to legalise around 15,000 of the illegal properties.

Meanwhile Barbate town hall is hoping to legalise around 500 illegal houses in the Zahora area near the Trafalgar lighthouse.

The authorities want to make the area, currently designated as non development land, into a legal urban area.


  1. What about the lawyers, notaries and the state of Andalucia? They have made millions out of what must be one of the worlds largest cons. They ALL knew that we wanted house to live in but happily took the money knowing that it was not lawfull to live in them. All house sold through a notary and with taxes paid to the Junta should have a habitation licences issued NOW, regardles of urbanisation. The buyers have acted legally and seem to be the only ones getting punished. Shame on you all the whole world now know what you are.

  2. I agree with Steve, there are too many people in high positions who think they are invisible and bigger than the law. Unfortunately there is still lots of corruption in Spain and it will be interesting to see if those involved get whats coming to them and whether those who fall victim to the continuing corruption in tis country, dont loose out.

  3. Living in the State of Chiclana as I do where the Ayuntamiento apply only the laws that it wishes to and the Policia Local enforce only those laws it can be bothered to which isn’t many especially if you are a family friend,distant cousin,uncle etc and even the Guardia Civil aren’t that bothered;the Socialist Council which were in charge of Chiclana for decades ARE UNDOUBTEDLY responsible for ALL the current problems with the the illegal building,building without licences,etc because they have turned a “blind-eye” during their years of power instead of enforcing the strict building laws and penalties that go with them, and the Town Hall officials have taken “backhanders” to grant or pass plans or alter the scope of land in order that it may be built on. They have contributed to the Rape of Spain for their own greed. I can say the Council for the village/town is currently headed by someone who couldn’t even take care of his own business but if Sr.Roman replaces him as is expected he is a different kettle of fish and was in charge before. He is clever and has designs for Chiclana beyond its needs or capabilities and which will reap HIM millions of Euros through the back-door!

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