Wednesday, 27 November 2013

IN TODAYS UK PRESS: These type of headlines do nothing to help the struggling real estate sector to recover: The 100,000 British expats whose Spanish homes could be bulldozed any day
HERE IS THE READS STORY: Three months after Brian and Lynne Reade(see photo) moved into Zurgena, a neighbour invited them to an emergency meeting. There, the couple from Banbury, Oxfordshire, were told the local government had deemed their home illegal. An immediate halt was called to the development of other properties and planning permission issued on those already built was revoked.
For the past seven years they have lived in limbo, awaiting the outcome of a court case brought by the regional government that will decide if their homes will be demolished. Brian, 66, says: ‘We don’t know when the court will decide what will happen. It could be today, it could be in 20 years. ‘For years concrete lorries were trundling into the valley and construction work was going on. What an earth did the authorities think was happening, and why were we only told there was a problem after we had bought our place?’ The Reades first fell in love with the vast valley near the village of Zurgena in 2004. Two years later they spent around £136,000 on a three-bedroom villa with a pool where they hoped to live out their years. They took advice from expats living nearby and hired an independent lawyer. By this time, the once-peaceful valley had become a building site. Brian estimates that a fifth of homes there are now empty. Those who stay are left in a ghost town. To make matters worse, the Reades do not have a home in the UK. Brian says: ‘One thing we do know is that we did not come to Spain to destroy the environment. If anything, we’ve added to this place. We love it here. But if we lose this, we lose everything.
: There is little to set Len and Helen Prior apart from the thousands of middle-class British retirees who have made the region of Almeria their home. But though you’d never guess it from her immaculate appearance, Helen is forced to wash in water meant for farm animals. Nothing about Len, who smiles and laughs frequently, would give you an inkling that he had collapsed in the street as he watched his world fall apart. The couple, both 69, have been living in a garage amid the ruins of the magnificent cream-washed, three-bedroom villa they named Tranquility in the town of Vera ever since it was demolished in January 2008. Helen screamed as bulldozers turned their house to rubble. She says: ‘It is difficult for other people to understand the feeling that your whole life has been taken away from you.’ The Priors fell in love with Almeria after visiting on holiday in 2001. They sold their home in Hurst, Berkshire, and bought a plot of land for £75,000. A local firm then built them a two-storey house, set in lush gardens, for another £250,000. The Priors moved in during 2003. All their paperwork was stamped by the town council and the deal seemed watertight. But in 2006 officials presented them with a demolition order because the house had been built on protected land. The Priors fought the order for two years. But on the morning of January 9, 2008, their water was cut off. That afternoon police and workmen with bulldozers arrived. Neighbours helped remove the Priors’ possessions from the house before their home was flattened. Bizarrely, the pool and garage were deemed to be legal and allowed to stand. So, with nowhere else to go, this is now their home. They have bricked up the original garage door in a bid to make it feel more homely. They now rely on a noisy and expensive generator for electricity and their only water is meant to supply local farms and is undrinkable. A converted caravan is their bathroom. Last week, they received £27,500 compensation after a court ruled the Spanish legal system had bungled the handling of their case. But they must now sue their local town council in order to receive any money back for the house — a process that could take years. Len, a retired motor mechanic, says: ‘I never used to swear before this happened. But because of the stress, I seem do it at every little thing.
One comes to Spain wants to buy a home, sees one advertised in the real estates window, views, likes, makes an offer, sees a lawyer all cleared as legal, planning permission etc to buy, pays and then months, years later are told that although planning permission WAS granted it now has been revoked and the villa will be pulled down. Is that not like the government giving you a driving licence then years later your stopped by the police , checking your licence you find it's been revoked although you've done nothing wrong? YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP!!


  1. A message for that blogger.
    Firstly let me quote from his post today (the spelling is his) ‘ I am going to avoid therir blog If you post on the other site i will not be being informed of them or reading them’
    So lets just see how long you can avoid mentioning Maurice by name or some ridicules hidden reference. You lasted a few hours last time so let’s just see if you really have moved on. The clock is ticking.

  2. My message for that blogger.
    My radio station is not anonymous, you know it well and have also been barred over the years from calling us. Secondly, why are you giving spoiler information today on the Eastenders that was already televised yesterday?