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Mogán town hall say they are only following regulations in their new General Urban Management Plan

Mogán town hall say they are only following regulations in their new General Urban Management Plan

The Mayor of Mogán, La Alcaldesa, Onalia Bueno, alongside First Deputy Mayor and Urban Planning Councillor, Mencey Navarro, have held a press conference this Thursday afternoon to try to clarify their position on the municipality’s processing of the General Management Plan (PGO – Plan General de Ordenación) on residential and tourist land, specifically with regard to second homes in tourist zones.

They say that second homes are not contemplated in the existing laws and island urban planning regulations, to which the PGO of Mogán is subject. For this reason, they have urged anyone in the Canary Islands, who finds themselves in an unclear situation, as well as local administrations in other tourist municipalities, to request that the Canarian Parliament put the matter on the table. “The municipalities are corseted and we do not have the regulatory competence to do so,” the mayor stressed.

The Mogan mayoress stated that “until now all the competent supra-municipal administrations have shunned that debate. Many years have passed and today they have not boldly [stepped up] to regularise the situation, or at least to compose a work table, where the different parties have a voice, and based on this obtain a feasible solution, and that is what is needed”.

The General Management Plan (PGO) of Mogán is currently in the public consultation phase until next October 20, and until then objections or representations can be presented. The wording of the plan, says Navarro, compulsorily adheres to Law 7/1995, of April 6, on the Regulation of Tourism in the Canary Islands, in compliance with what is stated in the preamble of the same:

“In addition, the Law has a determining impact on the instruments of territorial and urban planning, as formal vehicles through which it is intended to obtain a rigorous organisation of the sector, in such a way that, the Island Development Plans (PIO), with the tourist forecasts that the Law requires to be incorporated into them, are hierarchically positioned over any other figure of municipal planning, which must necessarily adapt to those.”

The PGO is also subject to what is established in Law 2/2013, of May 29, on the Renovation and Modernisation of Tourism in the Canary Islands, and in turn to both the Insular Management Plan (PIO) and the Special Territorial Plan for Insular Tourism Planning on the island of Gran Canaria (PTEOTI-GC).

For Bueno, one of the effects of this conglomerate of regulations “is a delay of up to two decades in the approval of the General Plans of the Town Councils. This entails not being able to green light developable land on which to build houses and free that residential mass from the tourist areas, which are usually made up of workers from the tourist areas themselves. That is the great failure of the administrations ”.

General Management Plans can only be processed adapted to the legal framework currently in force. It was explained that the Mogán PGO, which is in the process of being definitively approved, at this moment in time only deals with the structural management of land, without addressing the detailed ways in which to manage, and does not deal with residentialisation on tourism designated land. However, the Mogán authorities say that the Council aims to preserve urban planning on tourist land in the residential areas that are already consolidated, as well as to protect tourism lands.

The mayoress said that “the Town Hall in not avoiding the problem” because “we are aware that it has to be resolved. We will have to find a balance and it will have to be when the PGO is worked in detail. Now there is no place [for that]”. The time for that will be when the Mogan Local Administration analyses the use of tourist land plot by plot, bearing in mind if it has been residentialised and is already consolidated as such. Bueno has made reference to article 25 of Law 2/2013, of May 29, on Renovation and Tourism Modernisation of the Canary Islands, which contemplates the coexistence of residential and tourist use on tourism lands:

“Urban planning or modernisation, improvement and increase in competitiveness plans, will divide the tourist land where tourist and residential uses coexist into intervention areas, either by residentialisation of tourist establishments, or because the previous planning allowed both uses indistinctly, in order to channel their specialisation in areas of exclusive tourism use, exclusive residential use, or compatibility”.

The mayor and her number one stressed that, although in the future the competence may fall to the town hall to enforce the tourism use of lands classified as for such, they will not “expropriate” the residents of the consolidated residential areas, although they will ensure that these do not continue to increase since it is necessary to “preserve the exclusive tourist use of those lands destined for that purpose. It is necessary to order the tourist lands and not continue to reduce them, as they are the main industry in our municipality and in the Canary Islands ”.

The problem of the lack of legal coverage for second residences in tourist areas affects Mogán and the rest of the tourist municipalities of the Canary Islands, on which Bueno has reported that as vice president of the Association of Tourist Municipalities of the Canary Islands (AMTC) she will take the matter to the General Meeting of the Association. “A few years ago this reality was manifested in San Bartolomé de Tirajana and it will be replicated in all tourist municipalities when they carry out the processing of their respective General Plans. I believe that, out of responsibility, we have to address this issue and put it on the table in the Parliament of the Canary Islands ”, she said.

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