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02/01/2010 - British families fight to save homes in Albox



Lawyers are working against the clock to try and stop their properties being demolished as illegal

The AUAN association in the Almanzora Valle, ‘Abusos Urbanísticos Almanzora NO’, reports that it has now identified and contacted all of the eight homeowners who are subject to the demolition orders from the courts recently announced by the local Mayor. It’s understood that four of the owners concerned have already been served with the papers.

Mayor José García hopes to arrange a meeting with the 8 owners in early January, and the AUAN lawyer is meanwhile working against the clock to seek injunctions against the demolition proceedings on the basis of lack of communication to the owners and other factors. AUAN is funding the activity and said in a statement released this Wednesday that their lawyer is assisted in this work by an expert in human rights law.

The facts of the situation as set out by AUAN are: that the houses have building licences granted by Albox Town Hall in 2002, which were challenged in the courts later that year by the Junta de Andalucía and then declared as null by a court in Almería in 2003. The next stage in 2006 was when the Junta required Albox Town Hall to take steps to demolish the homes, followed by a court order in 2007 ordering the Town Hall to comply within 10 days. A Town Hall appeal against the order was then placed, followed by a counter-appeal from the regional government. The Town Hall’s appeal was thrown out by a higher court earlier this year.

According to the statement from AUAN, none of the homeowners were asked to participate in these proceedings, and most do not have the funds to fight it in the courts.

There was also news on Wednesday that the Junta de Andalucía has served notice of their intention to demolish a house in Vera on 12th January, the same town where the home of the British couple, Len and Helen Prior, was demolished two years ago. A candlelit vigil takes place at the site where their home once stood on 9th January, to mark the two-year anniversary. It is to be followed with a protest march organised by AUAN in Almería City on the 11th.