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atalaya dorada development

Atalaya Dorada development
from Diario de Fuerteventura:

see link for pics

Atalaya Dorada, squat territory and "lawless" urbanization
  • The urbanization, designed by the construction company Martinsa-Fadesa, is abandoned, without services and taken over by illegal squatting.
Atalaya Dorada had all the ballots to become the great residential area of Fuerteventura: villas, bungalows, a hotel and even a golf course were projected in the area. Behind it was Martinsa-Fadesa, one of the most powerful construction companies in the country in the early 2000s. Everything was going smoothly until the brick crisis, the bankruptcy and the abandonment. Today, the urbanization, less than 400 meters from the Natural Park of the Dunes of Corralejo, is a victim of dirt and insecurity, and has become a squat territory that has frightened the owners.

In 1996, the partial plan that allowed the area to be urbanized was definitively approved. The urbanization project arrived in June 2001 and the following month, the reparcelling. Work began three years later and was completed in June 2006. Martinsa-Fadesa had become infatuated with that enclave, until then virgin, to carry out the construction of 236 bungalows.
The bankruptcy of Martinsa-Fadesa, a symbol of the bursting of the real estate bubble, left the urbanization unfinished. One day, abandonment knocked on the doors of the houses and since then he has resisted leaving. Little by little, the episodes of looting began until they became customary. It was common to see in the area cars and even trucks taking doors, windows, water thermoses ... The dream of turning the place into one of the most important residential areas of the island was already far away. The construction company ended up in bankruptcy and the houses went to public auction. For some time, some of them had neighbors who, without paying a euro, had been squatting them.
Luis del Pozo is one of the owners who bought one of the houses at auction. From time to time he goes to Atalaya Dorada to see if his house is still standing and has not been squatted. To avoid this, he has had to wall up doors and windows. "Except for a block of 33 homes, where the owners arrived on time and were lucky enough to be able to kick out the squatters, the others are squatted," he explains. He adds: "The rest were less lucky. Many, when they signed the sale, found that the squatters were already stabilized and organized and it was very difficult to carry out legal proceedings on the part of the owners."
For nearly a decade, homes were unoccupied. "The area was inhospitable. There was no water, no electricity," explains Del Pozo. Perhaps, these basic shortcomings threw back the squatters. It was at the moment when the auction was made public that, according to this owner, the mass squatting began. Until then, illegally taking homes was anecdotal.

The area has been monitored this time. Even so, the squatting has continued. In January of this year, one of the plots was unguarded for four days, enough time to squat the 82 homes in the area: "As they arrived, the squatters sprayed a name on the building and, in that way, it was already under their property. They took as many as they could and, in turn, resold them to third parties. Most of them are taken by a group of people."
Del Pozo, who is also president of one of the communities of owners, denounces that the area has become an "Apache territory" where works have been carried out without any type of license. To solve the supply of water and electricity, the squatters have been installing solar panels and water drums on the roofs.

He tells how a relative of his also bought one of the houses in the urbanization. "He did it with a squatter inside and we initiated a judicial procedure to evict him," he says. "When we came with the prosecutor to notify that the squatting procedure had been initiated, we found a boy living in the house who told us that he had rented it on Airbnb and that he paid 1,000 euros in rent."

"The frauds here are multiplying. Rents and occupied homes are sold as if they were selling doughnuts in a cinema," says this owner. There are even those who claim that new tenants have properties in other places that they have put up for rent and then move to Atalaya Dorada, where it is free for them to live.

"All the owners are people who work, entrepreneurs, people who get up every day early, who pay their taxes and who have bought with enthusiasm. For many people it is their life savings and they cannot go there because they are out of the way and are intimidated. I don't go anymore," says another owner, who prefers to remain anonymous.

"The owners are disillusioned and regretful," he says. He is signed up on the list. He also regrets encouraging other family members to buy homes on the site. In his case, he acquired it in 2020 through auction. He says he bought it, like most people, without seeing it. "I went to auction not knowing I was busy," she explains.

In December 2019, it was in the area and there were only five homes taken illegally. The rest were abandoned, but there was a project that, in principle, was going to advance and improve the urbanization. That encouraged him to buy. "Once it was awarded, we went through there and saw that all the houses were occupied. Everything has been vandalized and complicated," laments this man.

Today, this owner refuses to enter the urbanization out of fear. "I have been threatened with stones and sticks and I have not gone again," he says. "The area is quite conflictive," he says. Although he recognizes that, among the new neighbors, surely there are people who have passed a pothole and need a place to stay, there is also the other side of the coin, that of those who are renting the homes without owning the properties.

The problem of the squatters takes away the sleep of the owners, but also the situation of abandonment that has been rampant throughout the urbanization in recent years. Debris, abandoned sofas, old vehicles, painted on homes, garbage and even a rickety motorcycle tied to the pole of a lamppost collide with the image that, just 400 meters beyond, projects the dunes of Corralejo.

"We are not assisted at all by the City of La Oliva. They charge us the garbage rate and yet we don't have any collection point in the urbanization. Here the municipal trucks do not come to collect garbage," denounces Del Pozo.
This owner remembers that, when they bought, they paid a capital gain to the City Council for each house of "more than 1,000 euros. We pay the Real Estate Tax (IBI) every year, the garbage rate and we have no service in the urbanization. It is understood that if you pay it is so that there is that service."
In desperation, the owners have filed several complaints in the City of La Oliva in which they denounce construction works, commercial activities open to the public such as a cafeteria and a vehicle repair shop, in addition to construction works in the common areas of the blocks of the urbanization. The owners have requested the Consistory to start proceedings to close "immediately" the unauthorized activities, the suspension of the works and the "restoration of the urban legality infringed".

"The City Council alleges that the streets are not received and in the end this becomes a pirate city, without law," denounces this owner, who fears that the neighborhood will end up becoming something similar to a Cañada Real or Las Tres Mil Viviendas de Sevilla.

Health alert

In recent times, they also fear that there will be some health problem derived from water purification. Del Pozo explains that the urbanization has all the facilities, services and infrastructures finished, but they have not been put into use. The urbanization has a treatment plant, located in the highest part of the area. In theory, it is prepared to raise the waters to a black spot, installed in a concrete hut. "There is a pump there, which is the one that drives the black water to the treatment plant, but, as the urbanization does not have electricity, the impulsion does not work, so all the water is accumulating at the initial collection point," he explains.

"The only way to evacuate is with vats," says one of the owners, although it is "a very precarious evacuation system. It is enough that it is a weekend or that the vat can not come so that the entire deposit is overflowing. The City Council should check this type of situation and close. Sewage is being collected at a site that is not to collect, but to drive, and this is causing an accumulation of human waste to occur." And he warns: "It is a situation of public risk. Any child who passes by or any animal can fall."

Not knowing what to do and tired of the problems going to more the owners asked for a Local Safety Board at the end of 2020. It was attended by the mayor of La Oliva, Pilar González, the insular director of the State Administration, Domingo Fuentes, as well as representatives of the Local Police of the municipality and the Civil Guard on the Island.

At the meeting, they raised the problem that is occurring of alteration of public order at a global level because, according to Del Pozo, "we see how the owners practically cannot enter the urbanization and also how the area served to cover up illicit activities, such as drug trafficking and robberies." "They listened to us, but no agreement was adopted. In the end, the meeting was a waste of time. There was no political will to solve anything," he laments.
While the answers from the administrations arrive, the owners will have to continue waiting for the Justice to recover their homes. Until the day that comes they will have to continue to see their homes from afar. In Atalaya Dorada they are not well received.

(link to thread when the properties were recently up for auction: https://fuerteventura.click/Thread-Bunga...-500-euros )
Living my dream
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