Italian authorities seize expat villas built on farming land

Published:  23 Oct at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Following the news yesterday that yet another Spanish villa owned by expats had been demolished, today’s headlines reveal that expat villas in Italy have been confiscated for similar reasons.

Brendan and Jane Crossan’s villa on the Ligurian Riveira was seized by the local authority following a five year battle by the couple to save their holiday home. Even worse, the couple are now charged with the criminal offence of owning an illegally built property, an offence which carries a prison sentence and huge fine.

The property, a hillside cottage overlooking a medieval village, was purchased as a holiday home in 2006, after the Crossans had fallen in love with the beauty of the region. During their visits, they integrated with the local village people and spent time there over the following two years.

Their dream crashed in 2008 when they found out through the previous owner that their villa was one of 81 homes built on designated agricultural land, many of which were owned by expats. All the homes had been granted local planning permission and were legal until the regional government revoked the planning decision.

The couple and the other homeowners affected have just a few days to appeal to a higher court, after which a demolition order is likely to be issued. An investigation into the four lawyers who signed the documents is underway, but the local mayor and council who authorised the development are not facing any charges due to the expiry of a statute of limitations.

The affected homeowners are organising protests based on the fact that the land had long been abandoned when the properties were built. The Crossans’ situation is now a nightmare in which they may also lose their UK home in order to pay off the outstanding mortgage on the villa and their escalating legal costs.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive