A ruling allows the councils to instruct their officials on the adaptation of the island plans to the Land Law

The Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands (TSJC), through a ruling issued on March 3, has annulled the decision of the judge of first instance that annulled an agreement of the Cabildo de Tenerifeadopted in April 2018, through which an internal instruction was established for the future adaptation of the Insular Territorial Planning Plan (PIOT) to the regional Land Law, approved in 2017.

The Cabildo’s agreement was unsuccessfully challenged in administrative proceedings on the grounds that it concealed a modification of the PIOT without following the procedure established by law. The Contentious-Administrative Court Number 1 of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, on the other hand, upheld the appeal on the understanding that the decision of the Insular Corporation supposed “an authentic and binding interpretation for the officials (…) with effects towards third parties without that the adaptation of the insular planning instruments” to the Land Law has previously been processed, in an approach that now contradicts the ruling of the TSJC, to which Mírame Televisión has agreed.

The ruling of the Second Section of the Contentious-Administrative Chamber, which overturns the first instance sentence, maintains that the agreement of the Cabildo has no more value than that of an internal instruction. It is neither binding for officials nor does it generate legal effects on third parties, so it cannot be considered a modification of the PIOT through the back door.

The sentence concludes that “the Cabildo itself would not be bound by its criteria and could reasonably modify it”, in addition to insisting that “the criterion of the legality of the applied act continues to be the law and not this instruction whose legal irrelevance outside the internal sphere of the defendant Administration reiterate”.

The decision of the Cabildo was reached within the framework of the obligation that emanates from the Land Law of the Canary Islands itself, which raises the need for the local planning instruments to conform to the new legislation and repeal all the provisions that may be contradictory. The magistrates recall that it is the autonomous norm itself “which realistically renounces the setting of a deadline that is so difficult to comply with in order to proceed with the adaptation.”

The sentence explains that it is “obvious, and no one denies it, that the Cabildo has the legal obligation -without a deadline- to adapt the Insular Management Plan to the new Law but, in the meantime, until the new regulation is approved , nothing prevents the analysis of the content that must be understood to be repealed by means of an agreement” such as the one approved by the Insular Corporation in 2018.

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