Shocking news as expats told compulsory purchase due to electrification project

Published:  25 Apr at 6 PM
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An update to earlier reports of a vast swathe of the Lecrin and Alpujarras valleys to be ruined by the installation of 362 electricity pylons has shocked expats still further.

A list detailing over 100 properties scheduled for compulsory purchase, dozens of which are owned by expats, has been published by the Spanish junta government. Homes and smallholdings set between Berja and Orgiva in on of Spain’s major eco-tourism destinations are to be purchased in order to allow this rape of the landscape to take place. The news came after English language newspaper The Olive Press launched a Fight the Power campaign in support of expats either directly affected or angry over the threat to the habitats of many species.

British expat Ian Jones, a former clinical psychologist, is terrified the electricity company may take away his home, but is unsure how to fight compulsory purchase on a legal basis. The junta’s next move is expected to be a declaration the 182km route is a public utility, after which the expropriation process can legally begin. In cases such as these, it’s well known that prices offered are far lower than the real value of the properties, even although they’re intended as compensation to owners.

According to Maura Hillen, a legal property expert, expropriated properties are normally bought at a ‘pathetic price’. She’s advising all those affected to take legal advice in order to negotiate a fair price, but the Spanish government’s attitude to the country’s natural heritage can be summed up by its refusal to renew its stalled bid to have Granada’s olive groves recognised as a natural heritage site. As regards the two valleys, having them granted world heritage status as a site of outstanding natural beauty would prevent the erection of the pylons and the ecological destruction this would cause. One thing’s for certain, apart from the threat to expat and local homeowners in the area, the Alpujarras region is exactly that – a site of outstanding natural beauty worthy of recognition before it’s wrecked.
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