On the Costa del Sol, when ''Mayors'' and ''building permission'' is mentioned in the same sentence, the thought is usually accompanied by the word corruption.
The authorities have actively been working to weed out the undesirables, as we have reported in the past. But it may be of surprise to some that a handful of these in question, remain in their positions of power.
Such is the case with the Mayor of Alhaurin el Grande, Juan Martin Seron, who is awaiting trial for apparently accepting cash bribes in exchange for illegal licences.
The Mayor was exposed in ‘Operation Troya’ last year and was found to have not only bought a car for approximately 30,000 euros in cash, but also a home using another lump sum of 51,000 euros. His wife, who was also implicated, is said to have bought nine other homes over the last few years, all of them without a mortgage.
The Mayor isn’t stopping there with appearing controversial though. Despite the Guadalhorce Valley already being inundated by overbuilding, the Mayor’s administration is continuing to seek new ways to issue licenses for country homes.
His attempts to allow the build of a 1,500 home development on a popular nature reserve in the near area were shelved by the Junta, Seron has found a new way to construct more undesirable developments, by allowing the conversion of farm buildings into homes.
The action is unpopular as the Mayor’s plans have been quoted as having “a negative impact on the environment, as well as undue pressure on water resources in the area.”
Whilst the Mayor calls the opposing attitudes as contradictory to current laws, as the area was declared as ‘urbanisable’ quarter of a century ago, neighbouring town halls and local campaigners are pleased that the main authorities have managed to keep the Mayor’s plans at bay whilst local laws are in the process of being reviewed.