The Canary Islands Agency for the Protection of the Natural Environment (ACPMN) has sent an alleged fraud in the Tenerife municipality of Arona to the Environment Prosecutor, since plots that are on rustic land for agrarian protection were offered as land suitable for installing homes. The land is in the area of Lomo Negro-El Fraile, and the Ministry of Ecological Transition, Fight against Climate Change and Territorial Planning of the Government of the Canary Islands reported yesterday the transfer of the complaint to the Prosecutor’s Office after detecting advertisements for the offer on various internet pages.
The offer is for subplots that are said to be land suitable for the installation of housing, despite the fact that the sellers are aware that residential use is strictly prohibited by law on them, since they are classified as rustic land of agrarian protection, as indicated in a statement. The regional Council adds that the actions to curb illegal subdivisions “are the result of close collaboration between the Arona City Council, Seprona and the Canarian Agency for the Protection of the Natural Environment.”
In recent months several files have been opened for illegal subdivisions in that area, seals have been agreed and Several reinstatement orders have been issued to the parcelers, who have been profiting for years “from this action that threatens the protection of the natural environment and the reserves of rustic agricultural land of Canary Islands».
The communiqué explains that fines of up to 150,000 euros have been imposed on the plotters and a transfer has been made to the Prosecutor’s Office for the investigation of possible urban planning and environmental crimes, included in articles 319 and 325 of the Penal Code, against the plotters and against the buyers.
The acting counselor for Ecological Transition, José Antonio Valbuena (PSOE), recalls that the only beneficiaries of these sales are the parcelers “who continue to profit from sales of rural land as if they were for residential use.” Buyers “are left with a serious problem, since they will not be able to obtain licenses to build or install homes on these lands and, if they do so without authorization, they will face a file for urban infringement before the Canary Islands Agency for the Protection of the Natural Environment , with fines of up to 150,000 euros, “he adds.
Valbuena stresses that people who build without a license may find themselves involved in criminal legal proceedings as accused of a crime against land use planning, punishable by up to four years in prison. As explained by the executive director of the acting Canarian Agency for the Protection of the Natural Environment, Ángel Rafael Fariña, there are criminal proceedings open against many of the owners who have built or installed their homes inside the segregated plots.
These lands are “doomed not to be able to be reclassified as urban by the City Council for at least 20 years, since the Land Law establishes that urban planning instruments may not reclassify land that, being rustic, has undergone an irregular parceling process while not said period has elapsed.”