Expats in Spain lose home demolition battle

Published:  7 Mar at 6 PM
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After a two and a half year battle in the Spanish courts to save their homes, a group of expats in Zahara de los Atunes have been told their wooden properties are to be demolished next week.

The British/Swiss group, all owners at the Costa de la Luz Atlantic Forest Park, are now suing a British developer for a sum of more than a million euros. Although their battle will continue, they are being forced to leave the development’s charming villas by 12 March, on which date demolition of the complex and clearing of the land for another development will begin.

Owner and former publican Tony Pearson, originally from Ramsgate in Kent, called the situation a disgrace, adding that they now have no choice but to walk away from their beloved home. However, he said, he and his wife are preparing to sell the wood for scrap after it’s been pulled down in order to recoup a little of their 110,000 euro loss.

Pearson and his wife are now returning to the UK, with both suffering extreme emotional distress over their loss. Over the last several years, the development has been the focus of a vicious fight involving fraud allegations and the non-payment of massive bills.

A British couple in their 80s, two of the 14 to be evicted on 12 March, have been unable as yet to find alternative accommodation and will be staying with nearby friends. Alex Joll, the British developer who leased the land to the group without being its legal owner, is being sued for fraud and failure to get the correct planning permission from the local authority.

Joll was unable to maintain the park’s common services as promised, and sold the land to a venture capital company in 2010. When the company failed to fund the project a year later, the park collapsed and the group tried to buy the land from the legal owner, but were refused outright.
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