TEN of thousands of British property owners face a legal showdown with the Spanish government after Madrid revealed plans to knock down all properties built illegally along the country’s coastline.
Spain’s socialist government plans to use compensation and expropriation to clear illegal developments along 482 miles of coast – an eighth of Spain’s seaboard.
The scheme is aimed at preventing the destruction of some of Europe’s most popular beaches, which are a vital source of tourist income, the ministry said.
The Spanish land registry shows that about 600,000 properties in Spain are owned by Britons, but estimates at numbers built illegally vary widely.
The government will present the plan to regional authorities today and promote it as a means to attract wealthy tourists who seek natural beauty rather than concrete resorts, according to newspaper reports.
Desmond Sparkes, of Marbella-based Sparkes Spanish Lawyers, said: “For those who do own truly illegal properties, those built after 1988, they can’t really sue the government which made the law.
“One remaining option is to sue the lawyer who advised them in the first place.”
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