C.L.A.R.O and its coalition partner Cambiemos Orihuela presented a motion in Thursday’s Plenary meeting of Orihuela council aimed at finding a solution to the problem of abandoned urbanisations in Orihuela Costa whose residents, although paying taxes, have, sometimes for decades, received no basic services.

Such is the state of urban planning in Orihuela that there is no available information on the scale of this problem. It no doubt affects thousands of property owners in several different urbanisations. Responsibility for these urbanisations should have been taken over by the Council once completed by the developer.

But in many cases the town hall has not supervised the completion of the developer’s obligations and has not taken over responsibility for these urbanisations. The developers have since long gone. The consequence is that the residents have been abandoned to their sorry fate of inadequate basic services for which they pay in full their rates and taxes.

The deficiencies are many. To cite just a few: In Las Ocas streets are not tarmacked and green areas are not maintained.  In Las Mimosas the streets are similarly not tarmacked and street lighting is insufficient. Mil Palmeras has access difficulties And Montezenia where citizen’s anger is most strong, there are problems of security, sewage spills, rat infestation, pathways in dangerous conditions, street lighting which has never been connected and children’s playground areas dangerously neglected.

Since the problems involved in these abandoned urbanisations have been ignored for many years, expectations were that the Popular Party-Ciudadanos government would find a way to oppose the motion. However, most unexpectedly, the C.L.A.R.O-Cambiemos motion was approved unanimously in the Plenary meeting of the council.

This is a major step forward since it obliges the government to provide complete details of all urbanisations in this situation (non-recepcionadas), to seek compliance by developers of outstanding obligations and if this is not possible, the government should provide the financial means to do so with a view to their formal acceptance by the town council and their inclusion in the full range of municipal services.

No doubt C.L.A.R.O.-Cambiemos, the authors of the motion and the citizens groups in the affected urbanisations whose relentless pressure over the years has led to this success, will need to hold the government to their responsibilities and in the meantime to facilitate all manner of specific help to deal with urgent problems in these shamefully abandoned urbanisations.

The sense of the motion was also to change the model of development of Orihuela Town Council and to cease the endless approval of the construction of new housing in Orihuela Costa without ensuring adequate services. This objective will require equal if not greater vigilance.


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