Minutes of EPRA Emergency General Meeting on 29th October 2021

Minutes of EPRA Emergency General Meeting on October 29th 2021, at the Courtyard Bar, Piedra Amarilla.

EPRA Officials in attendance:

  • Steve Tucker – President (ST)
  • Sam Weller – Spokesperson (SW)
  • Tineke Standaert – Chief Information Officer (CIO) (TS)
  • Linda Kelsey Foster (LKF)
  • Grant Foster – Media Relations (GF)

Steve Tucker opened the meeting at 16.20

ST began by explaining the following points:

  • The legal identity of EPRA.
  • Explanation of why EPRA was formed and the services of Maura Hillen and Ronnie Howley to the Chicken Factory objections.
  • The importance of getting EPRA established to get representation.
  • SW explained the registration process with Andalucia, tax registration and the opening of the EPRA bank account.

Update on the Chicken Factory by ST

No formal acknowledgment yet from the Partaloa Town Hall. There is a legal obligation to acknowledge the objection, but, the whole process ‘takes time.’ Every optimism that the Chicken Farm will not proceed.

So despite many other salient issues, the one fundamental failure is the absolute lack of access, which the technician employed by the Town Hall failed to spot last year.

The distance from the highway to the proposed access point is 4.1km and is totally unsuitable for commercial traffic, has no defined track, no permission for haulage trucks. ‘Impossible’ for wagons to bring in both concrete for construction and to supply broiler chickens.

The track access would cross ST’s land from the South. The owners of plots 153 and 152 do not have within their private land documents, any permissions for the likes of trucks and commercial activity across their land. Another resident has already ploughed and blocked the proposed access.

If the project was given the green light, colossal incompetence and possible interference to the legal processes at the highest level, with a misunderstanding of basic human rights within the community, can only be assumed.

Residents are encouraged to keep their padrons up to date and vote at the next elections.

LKF asked what the next steps are. ST replied that there is no timeline and will take time from here. The requirement is to have it grant a building license within 12 months. That period should start from when the ‘Action Project’ is approved. Almeria would also have to physically visit and inspect the proposed site.

Linda Bloxham asked if Almeria would let us know when they come to inspect the site? ST said ‘probably not’.

LKF pointed out that the original application showed a blank site with no dwellings on it. There are two local residents who are trying to sell and, obviously, are finding it difficult to do so.

ST mentioned the Solar Farm and that he had written to the Crowdfunding investors as to why it had not yet been connected. The answer was that they still have yet to obtain permission from Endessa.

Sue Nightingale interjected to state that she found the tone of the meeting to be ‘aggressive to the Town Hall.’ ST replied that he was only ‘quoting facts.’ Sue Nightingale then left the meeting.

SW – the future of EPRA

After hopefully gaining a positive outcome with the Chicken Factory objection, the idea is to broaden the remit for the residents association, for the whole community to work together. To look to involve local firms and companies in how to improve the local areas. All ideas are welcome.

Steve Conroy asked if there would be a name change to reflect this. SW said there would and therefore look to change to ‘Partaloa Residents Association.’ SW indicated it wouldn’t be a big issue to achieve this.

LKF asked if residents from outside Partaloa asked to join, would they be refused? SW said ‘absolutely not.’

GF pointed out that he had encountered negativity from a number of Partaloa village residents in a Facebook discussion on the Chicken Factory. By the sheer number of ex pats involved, EPRA was obviously mainly British in numbers, but it is important to try and get across the need to interact and work together wherever possible with the Spanish local community.

EPRA Accounts

SW stated that the account is 150 euros in the red at present. ST thanked the residents for their financial contributions so far.

Nominations for EPRA Committee Posts

There had been no new nominations.

  • ST was voted in as President.
  • SW was voted in as Spokesperson.
  • Tineke Standaert was voted in as Chief Information Officer.
  • Linda Kelsey Foster was voted in as temporary Treasurer.
  • Grant Foster was voted in as Secretary and Media Relations.

Questions were then taken from the floor

Steve Conroy asked if there would be a Councillor liaison with EPRA. SW said there would and appreciated the continued support of Steve Conroy.

Linda Bloxham mentioned that the last time there was an election, they were told by the Town Hall, as they were not on the list, they could not vote. Steve Conroy said if you are on the Padron, then you are entitled to a vote. Every two years there is a new register.

Paul King asked what other causes will be taken up, other than the Chicken Factory. SW replied that recommendations are needed, so the association can therefore consider them on their merits. LKF mentioned that the local council is in debt, so we have to be realistic in what we ask for.

Ann Mullen generously donated 150 euros in honour of her late husband George. Thank you so much Ann.

ST asked anyone wishing to use crowdfunding when donating to EPRA to be careful and to make sure that the tips/services slider is set back to zero.

Steve Conroy stated that the Council Secretary at the Partaloa Town Hall has to read every objection and, where possible, reply to it. As they are only on a part time basis, this is why it will take time to do so. ST said he could understand why the entire process has already taken a year or so. He hopes Almeria sees sense, enabling EPRA to be able to move onto other matters and help the entire community.

With no other business ST closed the meeting at 17.15

Keep up-to-date

If you wish to be kept updated with news and developments, please fill in the form below.