Catral owners of illegal homes may have a case to sue authorities for damages

Owners of illegally-built homes in the Valencian municipality of Catral, most of whom are British, may have a case to sue both the Valencian government and the town hall for damages, claims the European Association of Town Planning Consumers (AECU), a group fighting for the rights of property owners in Catral.

In recent years, 1,272 homes have been illegally built on rustic land around the town of Catral, most of them sold to British couples relocating to the region to enjoy their retirement. The town hall has plans to charge owners around 20,000 euros each for legalising their properties, whist developers and town planners involved in the scandal get off scot free.

Having consulted a legal expert in town planning at the University of Alicante, the AECU argue that the Valencian government and Catral’s town hall are to blame for failing to enforce town planning laws, and may even have encouraged illegal over-development in the area. As a result, owners may have a case to sue the authorities for damages, say AECU.

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