Demolition in Vera (Almeria)
Last Updated: 17 January 2008 19:30
The Regional Government of Andalusia has replied to the
European Parliament's request for information about the demolition of a
house in Vera (Almeria) belonging to a British family.
The article is not dated and Teleprensa.net do not cite the
author or source of the information. and translated from Spanish.
However, it would seem to be legitimate because the writer has carefully
researched the legal issues.
Obviously the report states the position of the Regional Government and
there are always at least two sides to every story.
|June 25 2003
||Town of Vera grants the Building
|April 19, 2004
||Court judgement declares the
|May 24 2004
||Court confirms invalidity, orders
demolition by Vera Town Hall.
|August 3 2005
||Local Government demands that
Vera Town Hall comply.
|March 7, 2006
||Court confirms order a second
time to be carried out by Town Hall.
|March 9 2007
||Court orders a third time
that Local Government to carry it out.
|December 17 2007
||Priors informed of December 28
2007 demolition date.
|December 28 2007
||Priors deny access to Local
|January 4 2008
||Court authorises entry.
|January 9 2008
||11:00 Demolition delayed as
Prior's furniture not removed.
|January 9 2008
||15:30 Demolition proceeds,
completed the following day.
TRANSLATION FROM THE SPANISH TEXT
The Government of Andalusia's reply from Almeria to the European
Parliament regarding the demolition of a house belonging to a British family
In order to reply to the request made by the Administrator
of the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament to the delegate of
the Government of Andalusia in Brussels, a report is sought from the
Directorate-General on the execution of a judgement ordering the demolition
of a house in the town of Vera (Almeria), property of Messrs Prior.
According to the Spanish legal system the ownership of land
does not carry the right to build freely, on the contrary, the right to
build is subject to the provisions of urban management in such a way that
town planning - determined by the classification and characteristics -
determines what types of usage or change of usage of land are permitted, in
accordance with public interest; thus stipulates article 7 of the Land Act
(Act 8 / 2007 of 28 May) that the usage of land is controlled for use as
specified by the planning authority. The entitlement to build is not assumed
with ownership of land and this right is conditional to to all the rules and
obligations stipulated by the planning authority. This principle is one of
the most important manifestations of the social function of property
ownership decreed by Article 33 of the 1978 Spanish Constitution.
|In cases where the town and country
planning permits building, the Spanish legal system provides for and
instrument to ensure that architectural project complies with
characteristics and usage of the local town and country planning
that instrument is the building licence [licencia urbanistica] (Article
169 of Law 7/2002 dated December 7, Urban Management of Andalusia). In
the legal system of Andalusia -following the statuary pattern - the
exclusive jurisdiction over the granting of building licenses is granted
to the local corporation (Article 171 of the Law on Urban Planning of
The local corporation (town hall)
should grant the license in accordance with the provisions of the
legislation and the implementation of urban planning (section 172.4 of
the Law on Urban Planning of Andalusia). As the Law courts have
repeatedly judged, if the town and country planning regulations are not
complied with, the license is null and void because the license does not
confer any rights in itself, depends on the current regulations and may
be denied or granted accordingly.
PLEASE NOTE: Teleprensa.net do not site the author or
source of the information. The picture is a screen shot of part of the
Furthermore, Spain is a democratic state (Article 1 of the
Spanish Constitution) which implies, in particular, that public
administrations should act in full compliment with the Law and (Article
103.1 of the Spanish Constitution). Therefore, the Municipality of Vera, in
granting the licence to Messrs. Prior, had to submit to the existing
legislation, namely the existing town and country planning.
Knowing that the Vera Town Hall had granted a license that
could be illegal, the Government of Andalusia proceeded to challenge it
before the courts to ensure compliance with the law of the autonomous region
In the Spanish State, the Courts control the legality of
administrative action (section 106.1 of the Spanish Constitution) and, that
while the judges and magistrates administer justice as members of the
independent judiciary, they are irremovable and subject only to Rule of Law
(article 117.1 of the Spanish Constitution). Exercising this function, by
judgement number 53/04, issued on April 19, 2004, the Judging
Magistrate analysed the licence granted by the Town of Vera on June 25 in
2003 in favour of the Priors for the construction of a single-family
rural house on the site "La Loma" de Vera in land classified as non-urban.
The ruling declared the license invalid because it demonstrated the
existence of a urban nucleus on land classified as not for urbanisation,
having also been shown that the house was not designated for agricultural or
similar purposes as specified by the law applicable to land not for
By the order of May 24 2004 of the Court of Almeria
the judgement of April 19 2004 was declared confirmed and the Town of
Vera was ordered to carry out the sentence. The Ministry of Works and
Transport of the Government of Andalusia reported non-compliance of the
court order on 29 July 2005 and, on August 3 2005, the Ministry
formally notified the Town Hall of Vera that, according to Article 118
of the Spanish Constitution, it must comply with the rulings and other
decisions of the Judges and Courts, as well as to give collaboration
required by them during the trial and the execution of the decisions.
Vera Town Hall, despite the request made by the
Administration of the Andalusia, maintained it's position of not fulfilling
the injunction to enforce the ruling, resulting in the Court dictating
the requirement a second time, on March 7, 2006, and a maximum period of
10 days for execution under the threat of prosecution for disobedience.
The City Council of Vera still did not comply with the
judgment and the same court made an order for the third time , dated
March 9, 2007, in which it said: "As the Municipality of Vera has not
having fulfilled the requirements agreed upon by this Court and Orders dated
24/1/06, 7/3/06 and 7/4/06, the court refers testimony of every act to the
public prosecutor to decide if the facts constitute an offence of
disobedience and, bearing in mind reluctance of the Vera City Council, make
it know that the Autonomous Administration of Andalusia is permitted to
carry out the demolition itself, pursuant to Article 108.1.a of the
Thus, given the municipal inactivity in the enforcement of
the judgement, the court deemed appropriate enforcement of the same by the
Administration of the Government of Andalusia, provided for in Article
108.1.a) of the Act 29 / 1998 of the Administrative Jurisdiction Litigation.
In pursuance of the judgement, the Directorate General Inspection of
Planning, Housing and Urban Development of the Ministry of Public Works and
Transport issued a notification on December 17, 2007 (received by the
Priors on December 18, 2007) of the date of the demolition, seeking their
consent to enter the address for the purpose of executing the judgement and
warning that, on January 9 2008, they should have vacated the building and
removed the furniture. The Town Hall of Vera was also notified the date of
execution of the judgement to on December 28 2007.
Mr. Prior informed the Directorate General of Inspection by
fax on December 28 2007 that he did not authorize the entry into his
home for the execution of the sentence and requested a stay of execution.
The Directorate General informed Mr. Prior on January 2, 2008 that
Autonomous Administration merely acted as an instrument for the legal
execution of the sentence and lacked jurisdiction to decide on the issue.
Finally, the Court issued an order on January 4 2008 authorizing the
Administration of the Andalusia to enter the home of Mr. Prior in order to
execute the judgement.
On January 9, at 11:00 the demolition should have
started but, at the request of the lawyer of the Priors who had not removed
their furniture, the demolition was delayed until 15'30 hours. By which time
the furniture had been removed. Work on the execution of the court order was
completed by Friday, January 11, and the Inspectors reported to the court
accrediting compliance by the Government of Andalusia of the require to
comply with the Judgement.
Finally it should be noted, that in the Spanish legal system,
many mechanisms are provided for individuals who suffer damage or injury
caused by third parties, being private persons or public entities, by
exercising various legal actions that will allow them to win compensation .
Among them, it is stressed, is the right of individuals to be compensated
for the functioning of public administrations in the manner provided by
Article 139 and onwards of Law 30/1992 of the Regimen of Public
Administrations and the Common Administrative Procedure. In implementation
of that provision, if the Priors consider that they have suffered losses or
damages because of the invalid license, they may exercise the corresponding
liability action against the Municipality of Vera for having granted the
license declared invalid by the final judgement of the Court.
END OF TRANSLATION
© 2008 Moraira-Info.com
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