November 17, 2014 at 10:29 pm #183989
Sources from AUAN have confirmed that the Junta – the regional government of Andalusia – will oversee the demolition of two British owned houses in Las Terreras, Cantoria TOMORROW, Nov 18th, at 12.00 noon.
The promoter was convicted of planning crimes the properties were ordered to be demolished with 790,000 euros payable in compensation to the three homeowners who took part in the case. They will, of course, never be compensated.
The property of Mr John Brooks was demolished in October 2013.
Tomorrow Margaret and Peter Hegarty and Janet and Frank Dole will lose their homes.
November 18, 2014 at 10:33 am #183995
There is no mention of this travesty in the Spanish national press, just in the local Almeria paper Voz de Almeria. Quite apart from the personal tragedy for the poor victims, this is a disaster for Spain and Andalusia, but there seems to be complete indifference and ignorance. This country really does have its priorities back to front.
November 19, 2014 at 10:09 am #184005
At one o’clock yesterday, 18th November 2014, representatives of the regional government of Andalusia demolished the home of Frank and Janet Dole, in Las Terreras, a tiny hamlet in Cantoria, in the Valley of Almanzora.
Frank and Janet had purchased the property, one of four on a small development, in early 2005 from their promoter, Francisco Pedrosa Moreno, only to discover in late 2006 that the property was in fact illegal and that the promoter had been charged with a planning crime. Services to the property were later disconnected forcing them to return to the UK to live.
In 2012, after a protracted legal case, the promoter was convicted of a planning crime and ordered to demolish what he had built. The court set a figure of 790,000 euros as the amount of compensation due to the home owners involved in the case.
However, the criminal code in Spain does not require the court to guarantee that such compensation is paid prior to demolition. The promoter has failed to pay and now the houses have been demolished leaving Frank and Janet with no house, no compensation and not much hope.
The bulldozer may have started its work today on the house of Mr and Mrs Dole but it will soon move on to the house of Peter and Margaret Hegarty, their former next door neighbours, who also purchased their dream home in the sun on this ill fated development.
Speaking about today’s events in Las Terreras, AUANs president, Maura Hillen said:
Buying a property in Spain is a state run lottery. There are many and varied regulations but no control. And, as a purchaser you are the one who gets punished if something goes wrong. This isn’t an isolated case. Many our our members homes are embroiled in similar proceedings. We need the Spanish government to change the criminal code to protect purchasers in good faith and to guarantee compensation prior to demolition. As it stands today these unfortunate people have been left with no home, no compensation and nobody in authority in Spain seems to give a damn. This is fundamentally unjust.
Gerardo Vazquez, AUAN’s lawyer, who also witnessed the demolition said:
This is a sad day for everybody in the Almanzora Valley, for the owners of these houses whose dreams of a Spanish paradise have been demolished. With every brick that fell today jobs were lost in the Almanzora Valley and future investors were lost as well. Its a pity that sense cannot prevail and we hope that the people responsible for these events will realise that they need to do something about it and rapidly.
November 19, 2014 at 10:58 am #184010
This venal stupidity by the Andalusian authorities creates terrible news that quite understandably puts people of Spain. The overall result is the local economy is poorer, meaning fewer jobs, and greater poverty in an already poor part of Europe. It’s impossible to overstate how stupid and unfair this is. The left-wing Junta of Andalusia is mainly to blame for this mess.
November 20, 2014 at 12:51 pm #184037Aunty ValParticipant
Words can’t encapsulate just how much this stinks.
The people involved always seem to escape any real punishment…
1. The lawyer who bought the house for them? Still working no doubt and giving “great” advice to anyone who pays his fee.
2. The agent selling the houses? No doubt sat in a bar somewhere.
3. The lawyer acting for the builder/promotor – still working and seeking new builders he can work with!
4. The town hall architect/secretary/mayor – all were probably well aware of what was happening but turned a blind eye to obtain more income for the coffers.
5. The venerable Junta de Andalucia who also turned a blind eye to any local events which they were happy to accept taxes for but didn’t really “own”.
That’s a list of people that should be investigated/charged/jailed for their involvement in something like this before a demolition order is considered.
November 21, 2014 at 12:21 pm #184040
One of the reasons given by the authorities for demolishing these houses is environment protection. As these before and after photos show, they’ve done a great job of protecting the environment (thanks to Gerardo Vazquez for the pictures).
[caption id="attachment_184039" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Before[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_184038" align="alignnone" width="1024"] After[/caption]
November 26, 2014 at 10:31 am #184114
The Spanish authorities start demolition proceedings against another five British-owned homes in Almeria, this time in Oria.
They are crazy.
December 4, 2014 at 10:30 am #184143
Fantastic PR for Spain:
This bit’s particularly depressing:
“Many of our clients, especially the Spanish and Belgian ones, see the bad news about illegal houses from a positive angle, to get prices reduced even further,” said Stephen Garner, sales director of Spanish Property Choice, a real estate agency.
December 4, 2014 at 10:56 am #184145loganParticipant
You ask the question why? The answer is because they legally can. Whilst I sympathise completely with the dilemma these property owners find themselves in there is another point of view.
It’s called the enforcement of legality. Spain for so long did not enforce it own laws and rules. That created a culture of ignoring them especially among politicians, lawyers and developers. They got away with it for decades. Illegally built unbanisations eventually became legalised because nobody wanted the inevitable stink and unwelcome investigations.
Spain has changed, not fundamentally but in demolishing these properties they are sending a message. Not to the expat buyers but to their own people. It’s a cruel way to do it. However I cannot think of a better method of communicating that you cannot do it any more.
In the long term it may end up protecting future buyers and bring much needed confidence back into a broken and discredited market system.
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