The Spanish authorities set to work demolishing illegal homes in Tenerife today, knocking down at least 3 homes in waterside neighbourhood known as Cho Vito, in the Candelaria municipality. Police removed 60 people from their homes in preparation for demolishing a total of around 26 houses in Cho Vito that fall foul of Spain’s Ley de Costas, or Coastal Law.
Owners at Cho Vito have lost a long-running legal battle with the Coastal Department of the Ministry of the Environment, resulting in today’s demolitions. The Coastal Office, known in Spain as ‘Costas’, argues that many of the houses in Cho Vito, which were built in the 1950s, stand on public ground as a result of Spain’s Ley de Costas, introduced in 1998. Most of the houses in Cho Vito are reported to be second homes, all of which are owned by locals.
As is often the case with illegal homes in Spain, owners have official water and electricity connections, and have been paying property taxes to local government for decades.