98 illegal houses in Albox saved from demolition

This is the translation from the news on El Mundo on July 19th.

98 illegal houses in Albox saved from demolition, while the developer is sentenced.

The vast majority were bought in good faith by Brits.

An Almerian Court Judge sentenced Juan Francisco Alarcon Herranz to two years imprisonment for the construction of 98 illegal houses between 2004 and 2006 in La Aljambra de Albox.

The judge contravened the Fiscalia’s demolition order, as the houses were bought in good faith, so that they may be legalised in due course.

The developer had ignored orders from the town hall, and built the homes without a building licence, and knowing them to be on non-urbanisable land. Nevertheless, one of the developers in his promotion leaflets declared the “Lemon Tree” estate to be 100% legal, and the houses to have all the necessary documentation and building licences, while assuring a high level of protection and security.
The vast majority were bought by Brits looking for a quiet life in the sun, a dream which proved to be their worst nightmare.

In this case, 122 writs were presented, mostly by clients of Gerardo Vasquez, currently assessor for Abusos Urbanisticos Almanzora No. AUAN say they are very happy for their members and others affected that “there will be no demolition, and there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

Owners saved; they will not lose their homes.

Although illegal building has led to demolitions up to now, the first being that of the Priors in Vera in Jan 2008, and the latest two houses in Cantoria in Dec 2014, officials of AUAN are satisfied that courts are now choosing not to order demolition of homes acquired in good faith, in line with urban rules. “It seems that these cases are coming to an end, without more demolitions, which benefits everyone; the demolition of homes acquired by third parties in good faith is a disgrace which must stop for the good of the economy and society” said Vasquez.

Despite this good news, many Brits who bought their homes thinking them to be legal have spent, and are still spending a stressful time after judicial orders for their homes have been issued (leading to the threat of demolition). Many have suffered health problems as a result, and others have died, leaving an inheritance fraught with problems. Not in vain have the owners of the Albox houses found themselves paying 225.000€ for (the legalisation of) their homes.

According to the Junta de Andalucia there are 300,000 illegal houses in Andalucia. Of these, there are 13,000 in Almanzora, Almeria, like these 98.

Original article in Spanish here.