British expats in Andalusia protest against demolition of their homes

Published:  27 Nov at 6 PM
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Tagged: Spain, USA
The thousands of expat home owners in Spain who unknowingly bought illegally built properties are stll living in fear and limbo due to corruption and senseless laws.

Andalusian expats who fear losing their homes are now gathering to decide on a course of action after two of their number, John and Jan Brookes, watched their dream villa torn down last month. The Spanish homes scandal has caused many more to lose all they had, as their retirement savings had been used to purchase their homes.

Emergency meetings are being held anywhere there is an expat community, and also involve retirees who bought unfinished homes off plan only to find that planning permission had been revoked and development stopped by local authorities. The mood amongst expats isn’t ugly yet, but it’s not pleasant either, with most vowing to fight to the end for their right to live in their homes.

A particular cause for concern is that there seems to be no logic to local officials’ decisions regarding planning permission and demolition. Many blame local politics, as a number of homes and developments were approved at first, only to have the plug pulled at a later date.

Even if approval isn’t revoked by the local authorities, it seems that rival groups in the regional government are overriding planning decisions where and when it suites them. Albox is the focus for the protests at present, although other communities including several in the Costas are also fighting to keep their homes.

A major cause of the heartbreaking chaos would seem to be that local and regional planning laws often contradict each other. Added to the number of deliberate scams where purchasers were told permission had been given when it had not, the scandal has ruined the retirement dreams of many hundreds of British expats.
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