The Department of Territorial Planning, Housing and Transportation of the Basque government and the Durango City Council have reached a pre-agreement for land released by the burying the train.
As indicated by both institutions, the preliminary agreement reached reduces buildability of the area around a third, with the commitment to jointly define the typology of the buildings to be built (location of the buildings, heights, etc.).
This decrease will be compensated by the local administration with the transfer of several plots of Official Protection Housing and Valued Protection Housing owned by the City Council in which the Basque Government will develop a Public Housing Plan.
The Executive autonomous, meanwhile, resignation to the construction of the second phase of the underground shopping arcade, as well as the building for facilities initially contemplated within the scope of the burial, as circumstances and needs change with respect to the time it was designed. This scenario will allow the allocation of maximum green space possible on land cleared by the railroad. For its part, the City Council will cede a plot to the Basque Government for facilities in the future development of the Eguzkitza industrial estate.
Likewise, the Consistory will cede the Convent of San Agustín and Pinondo Etxea to the Basque Government for its rehabilitation and the subsequent construction of endowment accommodation for different groups in need.
Finally, the Basque Government and the Durango City Council agree that the complete layout of the old train tracks becomes the property of the Durango City Council, who will be in charge of its urbanization.
The two parties agree that the pre-agreement serves, on the one hand, the municipal claims to modify the urbanization project of the released land, and on the other, the defense of the Basque Government to meet the will of the citizens without undermining their patrimonial rights after the investment made in Durango with the burial of the railroad.
The two institutions are now working on agreeing on the urban management system to apply. Basically, whether the PERI can be modified or they need to approve a new one, as they have highlighted.
Citizen consultation of March 2021
On March 14 of this year, a popular consultation was held in Durango to decide what to do on the land freed after the train was buried. 94.4% of the voters advocated stopping the ‘Peri 1 Ferrocarril’ project (Special Interior Reform Plan) and launching the study of a viable alternative that would entail a process of citizen participation.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.