Costa del Sol News - 29th July 2011

News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol

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Mijas scraps new PGOU to bolster growth

Without the move the PP says the municipality would lose development capacity

By Oliver McIntyre

MIJAS TOWN HALL plans to cancel the revision of the town's local development plan (PGOU) and stick with the current 1999 plan in order to maximise the potential for new growth and urban development, announced officials last week.

The new Partido Popular administration at the town hall says the currently valid 1999 PGOU allows some 20 square kilometres of urban growth (the town's total area is 149 square kilometres), while the revised PGOU - which received initial approval in 2006 but was never finalised - would allow just over half that amount of growth.

"This means the town would lose development capacity, and along with it the possibility to create public infrastructure linked to development deals pending the PGOU revision," said the town hall in a written statement. Such infrastructure includes finalising the new Camino de Campanales, a road link between La Cala and Las Lagunas via the Hipódromo racetrack, and a bridge connecting Venta La Morena and Cerros del Águila, it said.

The town hall will undertake to retool the development deals so they are no longer tied to the PGOU revision process.


Did you see Sunday's hit-and-run on the A7?

By Dave Jamieson

WITNESSES are being sought for a hit and run accident at the weekend which has left a British driver with a compressed spine and has written off her vehicle.

The incident happened at about 6pm on Sunday on the A7 autovía just before the 222 km turn-off for Arroyo de la Miel on the westbound carriageway.

Cat Tosko and her husband Peter were driving home to Estepona in their Ford Fiesta, when she noticed that a van travelling in front of them was behaving strangely. It was swerving between the lanes, and then appeared to move towards her car. She tried to change lanes, but the van slowed, blocking her escape. When she tried to overtake, the van speeded up and, with the vehicles travelling at 100 kph, rammed Cat's car.

The Fiesta was propelled off the road, through roadworks barriers, stone obstacles and sandbags, and it was only Cat's ability to perform a handbrake turn which prevented the car smashing into a rock face. Cat and her husband were taken to hospital in Benalmádena and she is now off work, wearing a neck-brace and on medication to ease the pain. Peter got away with bruising but both are suffering from shock.

Cat told CDSN that the van was white with cables hanging from the back, and was sign-written "Lavanderia Hermanos ..." followed by a name beginning with either A or E. She added that it is likely to have suffered some damage to its right side. The couple, originally from Cambridge, have given statements to the police in Estepona.

Two cars torched in Cancelada

Residents have reported an increase in crime and have called on the mayor to beef up security

By David Eade

SECURITY fears have been heightened in the Cancelada area of Estepona after two cars were set on fire in the early hours of last Wednesday morning. One of the vehicles belonged to councillor Cristina Rodríguez's brother.

The zone has a high level of Britons and other foreign residents as well as summer visitors.

The vandals torched the cars in the Plaza de las Nieves and Don Goldsmith, who is holidaying over the summer in the area, said he moved his own car into the garage as a precaution.

The fire brigade, local police along with forensic officers reached the scene at around 3am. One car was also damaged by the flames but a fourth escaped as the owner managed to drive it away from the blaze.

Don told the Costa del Sol News: "There has been an increase in house break-ins in recent weeks, many during the day, and lots of people have now had alarms fitted. We always ensure the doors are double locked when we go out"

Town hall can't afford illegal home teardowns

The court has ordered two demolitions and some 24 other homes may face a similar fate

By Oliver McIntyre

CÁRTAMA town hall says it does not have sufficient funds to carry out all the court-ordered demolition orders on illegal homes in the town.

In April and May a Málaga court ordered the demolition of two homes in the Dehesa Baja area, opening the likelihood that some two dozen other homes in the zone may face a similar fate. In one of the cases the court noted that if the town hall failed to execute the teardown order it would be in contempt of court.

But Cártama's councillor for town planning, Jorge Gallardo, said last week that the town hall "does not have the economic capacity" to fund the demolitions of all the homes in the town facing teardown orders.

Each demolition can cost between 6,000 and 7,000 euros, including the drawing up of project plans and carrying out the actual teardown, said the councillor. The cost is later billed to the owner, but the town hall must put up the money initially.

Sr Gallardo estimates that under its current budget the town hall "cannot take on much more than three demolitions".

The town hall says its intention is to honour and act on all court orders, but that it can only do so within the limits of its financial constraints. It says that when it runs out of funds, it will notify the court that it can no longer take on the cost of additional demolitions.