The town hall of Vera (Almeria) is suing the department of housing and town planning of the Regional government of Andalucia (Junta) over who should pay the cost of compensating the Priors for their demolished home.
The Priors, a retired English couple living in Vera, stood by helplessly as their home was demolished on the orders of a judge earlier this year. They are suing the town hall for 700,000 Euros in compensation.
The demolition request came from the Junta, run by the Socialist PSOE party. The Prior’s home was built with planning permission granted by the Vera town hall, run by the Partido Andalucista. Some say that the Junta would never have demolished the Prior’s home had it been in a municipality run by the PSOE.
The town hall argues that the house was legally built, and was therefore unlawfully knocked down by the Regional government, who should pay the compensation costs. The town hall is taking the regional government to court over the issue.
Unfortunately for the Priors, the legal process could drag on for years, with both the town hall and the Junta appealing any decision that goes against them.
“This is fairly typical ploy, and because the town hall knows exactly how things work, another form of abuse as regards the rights of small property owners,” explains Charles Svoboda, of the anti-property abuse pressure group Abusos Urbanisticos No. “Whichever of the town or Junta loses in the first instance would no doubt appeal to the Supreme court so look at a decade or more- and finally at what percentage would they ever be compensated- 10 % -of what value? I expect any eventual compensation would barely cover legal fees and other costs.”