GOB asks Pedro Sánchez to suspend the Omnibus Decree-Law

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(translated from original article published 11 June)

The controversial text published recently by the Balearic Government that modified more than 50 rules, implies serious consequences in terms of the guarantees for protection of natural resources and the land; and makes a substantial effect to the existing regulatory framework, caused by a totally undemocratic measure such as a decree-law. A decree-law that does not allow in any way the urgency to go beyond social and political debate of unprecedented changes to the regulatory framework.

A challenge on the part of the Central Government would result in the suspension of the decree law

GOB met during the weekend of 8 June at the inter-island level to coordinate a way of challenging the Balearic text and is working on the argument for a letter that is being sent to Pedro Sanchez, the President of the Spanish Government. It will detail the reasons relating to the effect on the principles of equality, security, progress and environmental protection that the ecological entity finds unconstitutional.

Aspects such as the elimination of the Environmental Commission; the legalization of illegal building on rural land; the new parking places for overcrowded beaches; the modification of the Reserve of the Biosphere Law; the dismantling of the Popular Legislative Initiative promoted by GOB for the Welfare of current and future generations; the possibility of building in Risk Prevention areas; increasing the possibility of building on rural land so that large buildings can be erected; none of this is urgent nor is it for administrative simplification, but will purely cause the loss of protection to the territorial value of the Islands.

Last Tuesday, the Balearic Government was proposing the validation of this Decree-Law and the start of processing it as a bill. Therefore, GOB announced its request made directly to the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sanchez, with the necessary legal basis for him to use his powers to stop what the association considers an abuse of power.

GOB presents itself to all Town Councils to be an interested party for all legalization proceedings

In addition to this initiative, GOB has decided to present itself to every Town Council in the Islands, as an interested party for all files presented for legalization of buildings in rural land that could be processed as a result of the Decree-Law published on 28 May.

The fact that legalization procedures are made by the Town Councils, without any external intervention, without making them open for public scrutiny, nor for urban planning nor for the heritage commission of the Island Governing Council, nor having to receive an independent report from an external organization, all make these legalization procedures completely opaque.

Because of the last urban planning amnesty, applied a few years ago, there are numerous suspicions of fraud in files for legalization (“unverified” antiquities; unfinished files for infractions and therefore being processed and allowed completion; changes of use from agricultural buildings to housing, etc).

Thus, for example, with the new amnesty, it is not enough that building is carried out before a determined date, it is also necessary that since that date it has not been subject to works that have interrupted the limitation period. In the case of works in the interior of an Area of Special Interest, for example, only those could be legalized if they had not been the subject of works since 1991, otherwise they would continue as infringements without expiry for being within protected areas.

In addition, the antiquity of buildings to be legalised ought to be accredited reliably, not in part but in full; nor can agricultural buildings or ruins be converted into new buildings. In short, a new “sieve” of illegalities cannot be allowed that rewards infractions nor, even more, for speculators to do business at the cost of our land.

Public action in the field of the environment and urban planning is recognised by the current regulations and making use of this and the right to urban planning information are the island sections of GOB. They are appearing at all Town Councils in order to be considered an interested party for all legislation files intended to be covered by the new decree-law. No file can be resolved without it being handed to our entity and no authorisation can be considered valid until it is formally notified to us.

It should be remembered that just a few days ago the Ombudsman endorsed, with an extensive legal report, GOB’s right to access urban planning files.