AUAN Press release – 1st June 2010
The organisation “Abusos Urbanísticos Almanzora – No” can confirm that another two demolition orders affecting British homeowners in Albox have been set aside bringing the total now set aside to five.
The most recent ruling came from the Court of ‘Contencioso Administrativo No. 2’ in Almeria on the 24th May. The ruling stated that the British homeowners had not been properly informed of the proceedings and thus were not given an opportunity to defend themselves against the demolition of their home. The judge ordered the case to be retried.
The lawyer for the British couple, Gerardo Manual Vazquez Nuñez said “This is good news for my clients. It has taken a weight off their minds, but it isn’t over yet. The case to decide if the building license should or should not have been issued continues. The problems for my clients have not ended but at least they can now sleep at night without worrying if a bulldozer is going to appear at their door”.
With reference to the other demolition orders in Albox the lawyer commented that they are still at risk saying “I do not understand why the Junta says that everything depends on the Judges and they (the Junta) do not demolish. My experience is different. The Junta is very active in these proceedings. For example when the court was notified of a change of lawyers in one of the cases that I represent, the Junta objected and said that my clients should now be excluded from the case because as the second owners of the home they were not named on the original license. My clients had previously been allowed to participate and only the lawyer was being changed! Fortunately, the judge did not permit this”.
The lawyer added “The annulment of these proceedings is a step forward, but it does not resolve the widespread issue of urban abuse and property problems which affect thousand of citizens, not only in the Almanzora Valley but throughout many other parts of Andalucia. The principle problem is the legal uncertainty which exists for many homebuyers who are not only British but Spanish and other nationalities as well. In my opinion the property system has failed and should be reformed”.
When asked who is responsible the lawyer responded “Responsible? Now is not the time to apportion blame- that will become clearer over time – but my clients are not at fault. What IS needed now is for the administration to be brave, to take the bull by the horns and mediate an agreed solution between the people affected, the responsible agencies, political parties etc. This would be good for the economy and good for society at the same time. Currently the whole issue is causing great concern and nobody knows what is going on.”
Asked how the problem could be solved the lawyer said “There are precedents. For example in other parts of Spain the regulations have been changed in a way which allows for regularisation via Special Plans. One thing is clear – things cannot continue as they are.” He concluded by saying “In my opinion, if the problem is not addressed once and for all it will continue for many years and will not be good for anybody”.
For more information visit www.almanzora-au.org