Why does it take twice as long as it should to issue a building permit in Malaga? | Sur in English

Wednesday, 10 July 2024, 21:00

Malaga city is experiencing excessive delays in handing out building permits, the municipal urban planning department has admitted.

A building permit takes an average of 186 days to be granted, from the time the application is registered until the authorisation is issued, according to a random analysis carried out by the quality service of this body in the 2022 and 2023 files. This is more than six months of waiting, “doubling the maximum legal period foreseen for processing”, which is three months.

The Urbanismo urban planning department acknowledged the delay in one of the proposals to be addressed in a governing council meeting scheduled for this Thursday. The dismissal of the current head of the department of licensing and urban protection, Leonor Muñoz Pastrana, will be discussed. The dismissal was announced last February by councillor for urbanism Carmen Casero when she reported on the restructuring of the organisation of the Gerencia that has been taking place since then.

One of the arguments pointed out for the dismissal of Muñoz Pastrana is that “it is considered insufficient” the improvement times in the processing of licences over the last few years, as a previous audit, carried out in 2019, set an average wait of 196 days for a building permit, which has only been reduced by about 10 days since then.

It also mentioned a report by the public attention service of the department about complaints in relation to the delay of licences in which “the concern of citizens about the lack of efficiency, transparency and diligence in the administrative processes related to the management of files processed by the department of licences and town planning protection is made clear. “This can be detrimental to the public, in addition to a deterioration in the reputation of this organisation and a delay in the economic development of this city.”

Those responsible for urban planning consider it is necessary to put at the head of this department someone “that, has adequate technical knowledge, promotes the implementation and application of new measures to automate tasks and improve procedures, organises and manages the department in a different way”.

Conflict of interest

It is also pointed out that it would be a conflict of interest if Leonor Muñoz is to hold the presidency of the Association of Quantity Surveyors and Technical Architects while being the head of the municipal licensing department when, from now on, following various legal changes, this professional body, and others like it, will be able to partake in the management of building permits through external reports and supervision with the aim of speeding them up.

For these reasons, Urbanismo will dismiss Leonor Muñoz and replace her with someone else. The official gazette of the province published this week the call for the competition to choose the replacement by free appointment. Those interested, who must be group A civil servants, have from this Wednesday 10 July a period of 15 working days to apply for the post which has a gross annual salary of 82,105.24 euros.

The council of Urbanismo will also take into account the dismissal of María Dolores Martos de la Torre as head of the department of urbanistic actions, and the dismissal of Elena Rubio Priego as head of the department of urbanistic planning and management. However, in the case of Rubio Priego, it is already known that she will be the new head of service of the new project accelerator unit that will be set up by Urbanismo to give priority to the processing of certain actions that are considered to be of general interest to the city.

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