Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Vamos a perder nuestro mirador

A beautiful winter sunset over the town (taken from our terrace).

This view will shortly disappear. The house opposite was bought late last year by a Madrileño, who has now demolished the house and is building a new one on its footprint.

All well and good, except that the building licence shows he's going to put a three-storey house in place of the single-storey. Even this I might not mind, but the council who gave him the licence is the very same that refused us permission to go up another storey due to the expanded family. Our house, with the extension would be lower than what is being built right opposite which will rob us of light and the magnificent views (one of the reasons we bought the house in the first place).

There are two ways of handling this: object to the building and leave a semi-finished house in the street, unpainted and unloved - not very satisfactory, or wait until his house is finished and then extend upwards ourselves (illegally as well) to get our terrace back - which would be hidden from the rest of the town anyway. Hmm...


Katherine and Pippa, said...

Spanish building laws eh? The one that goes something about you can only replace like with like, unless you do it illegally, and pay the multa (which apparently in our area they are cracking down on now), or unless you know someone.... and of course if you get a project and officially reform it you have to pay more IBI. We're not doing anything to ours. At all.

Grumpy Goat said...

You could wait until el neighbour has finished building. Then re-apply for your own vertical extension, citing precedent.

Just a suggestion.

El Casareño Ingles said...

Would that it were so easy my caprine friend.

Precedent only exist in common law, but Spain has its own variant on the Napoleonic code which does not recognise such a convienient device.

When we first considered the project a while back we first spoke to a local builder. He suggested that it was in fact cheaper to build illegally and then pay the fine afterwards, rather than pay an architect for a proyecto and also the town hall for the building licence.

It's not difficult to see why so many town halls have issued dodgy licences in the past. However, the regional government (Junta de Andalucía) is cracking down on this which is why (since 2005) there's been a Spanish joke which goes thus:

"How many mayors are there in Alhaurín de la Torre? Five. One for the town and four in the jail (the provincial jail is located there). ;))

Anonymous said...

Sorry off topic!
We are moving to Spain from Canada, what Canadian appliances will work in spain?

Any help will be great.


El Casareño Ingles said...

Dear anonymous:

The short answer is none! The voltage, grounding and plug systems are all different. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_AC_power_plugs_and_sockets

There's also the expense of shipping all these appliances 5,000km.

Most domestic appliances are reasonably priced in Spain and come with guarantees.