December 23, 2009 at 3:23 pm #55352
Message I have just seen:
The mayor informed us on Friday that they were running out of options to prevent the demolition of 8 houses in Albox. The 8 are directly related to the original group of 11 building licenses issued in Albox.
The mayor agreed that we could have the list of names of those affected so that we could speak to them first and soften the blow rather than having the police arrive at the homeowners doors. This has not happened.
As of last night the first demolition order has been issued by the police to an elderly couple in poor health who had no knowledge of the proceedings until they received the notice.
December 23, 2009 at 3:46 pm #95773
My god what a disgrace,I’m speechless.
December 23, 2009 at 4:34 pm #95775
Mario, nothing to be speechless about. Where have you been living !!!!!!!!!
December 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm #95777
Mark, was this a personal message to you or via another forum
December 23, 2009 at 6:26 pm #95778
Message by email that I was copied on.
December 23, 2009 at 7:26 pm #95780
Thanks for replying Mark.
Could sound the death knell re future purchasers particularly in that area .
Meanwhile the builders et al are enjoying their ill gotton gains without a qualm.
A disgraceful situation to be sure.
December 23, 2009 at 8:53 pm #95782
It really does beggar belief. At least it would if it were anywhere other than Spain.
December 23, 2009 at 10:54 pm #95783
Mark, in those cases that building licences were granted there should be a chance to sue the Town Hall Mayor and the developers in the penal court. We are taking a penal action against a Mayor, the Developer Company Directors and others, with civil responsability in the Town Hall side in case all the parties are insolvent. This case it is in Huercal Overa Courts.
So those people should be taking an action in the Court claiming the proper compensation for lost and damages.
December 23, 2009 at 11:06 pm #95784
gonzalo, are you fishing for punters?? what about success related fees if you’re so sure?
sounds awful, especially if they really did have license issued by local town hall?? heads should roll; but will they??
December 24, 2009 at 7:12 am #95785
they might as well *iss in the wind for all the good your advice will probably do?. How much?, how long?, who can they trust?. The point shouldn’t be ”what can they do?”, but ”why the hell are in that situation in the first place?” In a decent system they shouldn’t have to fight this, they have clearly been the victims of fraud and lies yet again. The only action should be regulation and punishment against, and compensation from, the crooks that have landed them in this position. Utter disgrace on Spain once again.
December 24, 2009 at 8:02 am #95787
In the AUAN letter to the EU I posted on the ‘pitfalls’ thread:
“Some members have fully legalised documents for their property, now to be told that the Junta of Andalucía has withdrawn building licences for ‘irregularities’……
Their documents have official stamps from the very people that now take these actions”.
This is where the EU should be intervening. How I wish a few thousand Brits could ‘ring-fence’ these properties and tell the demolition squads where to go.
Utter disgrace on Spain indeed goodstich. My heart aches for these people.
December 27, 2009 at 6:39 pm #95789
December 29, 2009 at 5:38 pm #95805
Here’s the scoop from TheReader a local newspaper.
From The Reader newspaper:
Eight expat owner home owners in Albox (Almería) face having their homes demolished in the New Year – because the original proprietors obtained building licences before building.
The possession of a building licence is the single common denominator shared by all eight cases, as the properties are divided among six different areas of the municipality and two were purchased as resale while the rest are self-builds.
Seems that The Reader will have an interview with one of the couples on their website tomorrow.
December 29, 2009 at 6:08 pm #95806
Good to see it’s finally made it to at least one UK newspaper, the Daily Mail.
It’s interesting to read the 39+ comments at the end of the article.
Re. Lennox’s link:
“… the Junta de Andalucia has given its backing to a new business scheme to try to attract foreign buyers back to the province in apparent acknowledgment of the mistrust that exists among potential investors due to bad press”.
These people are priceless – they’ve totally lost the plot with reality. If they don’t want bad press, don’t demolish peoples houses when a building licence has been issued.
I hope every single British newspaper splashes this latest disgrace in Albox over their front pages complete with pictures.
December 29, 2009 at 9:00 pm #95808
This is just the tip of the iceberg. These people thought that they were legal as they had all the paperwork, only to be told years later that the Junta had challenged and revoked the building licenses.
I bet no one will take responsibility for not having informed these poor people: not the Junta, the local Ayuntamiento or local builder. They will pass the buck as always.
I have an illegal house just outside Albox and didn’t know its true status until a year after I signed at notary. This was after 2 lawyers, 3 banks and 2 notaries had looked at the paperwork and said it was all legal. It is built on rustic land without any licenses (eventhough our escritura says its on urban land). Nothing was done to stop my neighbour building or selling them and yet the local Urbanismo office was aware (this was found out after the fact unfortunately).
Even when we signed onto the empadronmiento, the official didn’t say it was an illegal development, they just overrode their system and put our address in. They did say that they couldn’t find the houses on their map but didn’t say it was illegal and didn’t say we can’t do this and don’t buy there as it is rustic land and doesn’t have permissions. It would have been the perfect opportunity for them to have done so.
The town is built on lies and they will continue to lie in order to get themselves off the hook for this travesty of justice and morality.
It is a back slapping gentleman’s club of a town where everyone knows everyone else and their business.
As a post script, I was appalled at some of the callous comments made by some of the readers of the Daily Mail. Not a season of peace and goodwill to all by any stretch of the imagination.
December 29, 2009 at 9:37 pm #95809
According to the Daily Mail….
Gordon Brown leads furious outcry as China executes British drugs mule by lethal injection……
Am I missing something here ❓ ❓ ❓
That GB is very concerned about a drug dealer but doesn’t raise an eyebrow about the plight of the Prior’s or the latest Brits in Spain who through no fault of their own are about to be homeless and light years away from any redress.
Considering how many illegal builds there apparently are and that the reason given for this latest travesty was because the J of A didn’t want pockets of urbanisations springing up WHY have these particular houses, where planning permission was agreed before building, been selected ?
Could these properties be in the way of something planned for the future?
Or has the clock gone back 40 years?
December 30, 2009 at 12:46 pm #95810
“Gordon Brown leads furious outcry as China executes British drugs mule by lethal injection……
Am I missing something here
That GB is very concerned about a drug dealer but doesn’t raise an eyebrow about the plight of the Prior’s or the latest Brits in Spain who through no fault of their own are about to be homeless and light years away from any redress “
Its election times folks !!!!!!. People have to read in between the lines and should realise what needs to be done.
December 30, 2009 at 12:57 pm #95811
You’re right about Brown, it was the same with Blair too. They think they can claim Brownie points with their repulsion of China’s action, and they do nothing about other travesties such as those in Spain with Brits losing homes etc. What do they do about Mugabe’s atrocities etc?
They will act quickly however if oil is at stake along with the Yanks, and like Blair, they will surely line their own ‘Christian’ pockets, hypocrites!
Labour are a complete sham, the trouble is the Tories will probably do similar after the honeymoon period is over. 😡
December 30, 2009 at 1:10 pm #95812
And when you do everything correctly, the town halls don’t want to return the deposit you paid, even when it was minor works and not a chance of the outside road being damaged…….!!!
December 30, 2009 at 1:17 pm #95813
Interesting that the stock response when it comes to the travesties of justice in Spain from all MP’s, MEP’s and GB’s office is “we can’t comment/interfere in another country’s legal system”……
What a blatant example of hypocrisy then to start mouthing off to China.
According to one report this guy was born in Pakistan and did most of his growing up in US and Poland. But what the heck, he obviously managed to acquire that magic little red book at some point (Brit. passport) which made him ‘qualify’ for GB’s attention.
Could these properties be in the way of something planned for the future?
Good point – I think you may have hit the nail on the head.
December 30, 2009 at 3:57 pm #95818
Something planned for the future…
Well, yes, well done for noticing! There will be a small new artificial city to be built between Mojacar, Garrucha,Vera, Antas, Turre and Los Gallardos. To be called ‘El Llano Central’, this new township (an apple of the Junta de Andalucía’s eye) will have 35,000 homes, fifty hotels, golf courses, industrial parks and a railway station for the AVE.
But, wait, who will live in this Erewhon of the 21st Century?
Maybe we could flog it to the Brits. Know what I mean?
December 30, 2009 at 6:31 pm #95819
Well said Lennox Im sure the Junta has the front to try and sell these to the Brits.
They can then declare them illegal and deport the owners for buying illegal properties and sell them all again.
Nationalise the legal profession and rake in a small fortune there also.
December 30, 2009 at 7:16 pm #95820
Indeed lennox I am well aware of the proposed “utopia” El Llano Central but my point was about the properties under threat in Albox being part of a grand future scheme.
I note from reader.es that the houses have been cherry picked from different zones whereas the J of A are leaving…well at the moment ..totally illegal areas of urbanisation’s in Albox and areas. Something that the J of A stated they would not accept.
Is this a part of the proposed route of AVE I wonder ?
Otherwise what they are doing is totally illogical. Although having stated thus, although I love it here, a great deal about Spain is totally illogical.
December 30, 2009 at 7:43 pm #95821
“Spain is different ” We were at notice.
December 31, 2009 at 3:03 pm #95822
If only oil could be found under some of the gardens in the Valencia Land Grab area, maybe the UK would like to claim it as Sovereign territory and take some notice of the diabolical goings on in Spain for overseas home owners! 😉
December 31, 2009 at 8:00 pm #95823
I understand that “the Spanish prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, takes over the rotating EU presidency on January 1 hoping that the international spotlight will reverse a slump in his domestic popularity”
I would have thought this would present some excellent opportunities for the international spotlight to be directed at the property abuses arising under his premiership.
January 1, 2010 at 1:57 pm #95825
There will be a protest march in Almería on Monday January 11th against the final notices delivered during the Christmas holidays on eight homes scattered across Albox in various areas with two things in common – first that they were bought legally with all local legal papers, town hall, lawyers and notaries in order, yet form part of the ‘11,000 illegal homes’ identified by the Junta de Andalucía in Eastern Almería, and second, they all belong to Brits.
Which, however much of a coincidence that may or may not be, will certainly not do much to encourage the Daily Mail’s travel supplement to recommend our area.
‘All those who require coach transport to the march in Almeria need to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with their full names, number of people requiring a seat and whether they are Albox or Arboleas pickup. This will be forwarded to me to collate lists for the coaches. We would prefer their cash up front (6 eu per person) so once I receive their names I will let them know where they can pay before the 11th. We can, of course, take money on the day. The trip is purely for the march – not a shopping trip as well, which we did last time and it caused lots of problems’ – pp Carole!
January 5, 2010 at 3:48 pm #95834
Apart from this very important protest march in Almeria, one of the local forums (that covers the Arboleas/Albox area) has organised a petition and produced flyers in Spanish and English for distribution.
I don’t want to link another forum into here without permission but if anyone is interested, please pm me.
January 8, 2010 at 8:44 am #95837
Could these properties be in the way of something planned for the future?
An article about Alain Duzant, a Dutch citizen and one of the residents issued with a demolition order, states:
“Alain believes it could be connected to the new district hospital for the Guadalhorce, whose first stone was laid at the end of last year, just 500 metres away from his new home, where Diario Sur revealed in June 2007 that the Junta plans to build a ‘Ciudad Sanitaria’ – ‘a Health City’ covering an area of some 300,000 m2 around the hospital”.
The article includes a letter written by Alain which shows how a few years ago despite having all the legal paperwork he was made to pay a 28,000 fine to the Town Hall to legalise his home, plus all taxes to the TH over the years, only now to be served the demolition order:
Imagine all those fines and taxes pocketed by the Town Hall which ended up being………….FOR WHAT?
January 8, 2010 at 9:35 am #95838
January 10, 2010 at 6:59 am #95843
There was a candle-lit vigil last night (Saturday 9th January) at the ‘home’ of Len and Helen Prior to mark the second anniversary of the demolition of their house in Vera. There’s a write-up and photos at http://corruptioninspain.blogspot.com/.
Next event: Demonstration in Almería City 11th January (now supported, surprisingly, by the Izquierda Unida/Los Verdes).
January 12, 2010 at 2:50 am #95865
The demonstration went well. There had been some concern about the weather, but it was a crisp day with a high blue sky. I had agreed to meet a group from Catral (Alicante) in a famous cafeteria near the Puerta de Purchena, only to find it had been knocked down for redevelopment. I never did meet them – I hope they forgive me. Others came from Nerja (Málaga) and the acting president of the new property owners federation (‘FAUN’) was there with a small group from Benissa (Alicante). The orderly march was led by Len Prior (in a wheelchair) and his wife Helen, together with local organiser Maura Hellin of the AUAN and around 1,000 people, with whistles, banners, ‘fright’ masks and a cornet, slowly made their way down the Obispo Orberá and then on to the Rambla, led by a group of polite and friendly cops. The event ended with speeches, including the telling remarks from Helen Prior about the unfairness of it all – living in squalor for no appreciable reason.
Maura says that the Public Ombudsman for Andalucía has now agreed to receive her in Seville on Friday.
January 12, 2010 at 9:31 am #95868
Well done to Lenox for all organisational efforts.
The Daily Mail has often been knocked on this forum but at least it helps to spread the word:
January 16, 2010 at 2:40 pm #95958
Open Letter from Michael Cashman MEP as sent to PM Zapatero:
Dear Prime Minister Zapatero,
Recent events have compelled me to write to you again to raise the issue of widespread urban abuse in Spain, particularly in the Valencia, Murcia and Andalucía autonomous communities. Tens of thousands of people from all EU Member States have now been affected by irregularities in regional land law. At the last count the European Parliament’s Petitions Committee has handled over 15,000 petitions and letters flood into my office on a daily basis. Several fact-finding missions have taken place, in which we have spoken to people on the ground and gathered evidence which has formed the basis of Parliamentary Reports. Inaction can no longer be excused.
Sadly, the new year has begun in the worst possible way for one community in Andalucía where eight properties in the village of Albox have been served with demolition notices. In 2002 Albox Town Hall granted building licenses for all of the properties in question. However late in the same year The Junta de Andalusia reversed this decision and after lengthy court proceedings succeeded in having the building licenses nullified. The homes many bought in good faith and in conformity with the regional property law, with the hope of enjoying a new life or peaceful retirement, now face imminent demolition.
Ultimately it is the Spanish Government alone who can bring an end to these abuses. In this way the Spanish Presidency of the European Council represents an opportunity to decisively tackle these long-standing problems once and for all, especially in the autonomous communities of Valencia, Andalusia and Murcia. I urge you to intervene and ask the regional governments to resolve this so the people who acted in conformity with legal practice and the law are not left as the victims.
MICHAEL CASHMAN MEP
January 18, 2010 at 7:44 am #96001
Good article in today’s Times.
January 18, 2010 at 8:36 am #96003
yes, well done the Times for this. Before Spain can even have any hope of recovery, reports like this show how much not only needs to change, but needs to be seen as having the will to change!!!
As long as people try to brush this under the carpet, and say things like ”we know all about it, this is Spain, so shut up and stop banging the same drum” or ”let’s have more balance” then nothing will change!!
January 18, 2010 at 10:46 am #96011
When it does change and Spain becomes a safe place to buy, and people get their money back and legal houses are not being demolished THEN AND ONLY THEN will we all stop banging on about it. Until then…. where are my sticks? 😉
January 18, 2010 at 1:33 pm #96022
Well it’s true. I’d like to sell my place – splendid house, fully legal, no probs etc. But, I won’t. Not while the European public is treated to endless stories about the rank corruption, fraud and double-dealing in Spain (well, Andalucía anyway).
So, it’s in the interest of everyone that this situation gets fixed once and for all.
Wake up those sh*ts in San Telmo!! Wake up!!
January 26, 2010 at 1:28 pm #96241
Looks like Málaga City Hall is now jumping on the bandwagon:
More pictures in the newspapers will certainly give tourism/real estate a boost….not.
January 29, 2010 at 3:22 pm #96358
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