The Burns family in Albox are celebrating after a Judge in Almería ruled that they had not been informed of the case against their home and annuled the demolition order placed upon their home in an earlier court sentence.
This means that so far, three families of the “Albox eight” have succeeded in having their demolition order overturned. The other cases have, I understand, yet to be heard.
You will remember that the Junta and Albox townhall spent eight years fighting over whether these building permits were legal, after the Junta refused to accept the townhall’s decision to build some homes in 2002. It never ocurred to anyone to actually tell the homeowners that their building licenses had been annulled. Instead, the cases got all the way up Andalucia’s Supreme Court, which ruled in favour of the Junta and ordered the “restoration of urban discipline” – ie, the demolition of the homes or structures. Next thing the owners know, couple of coppers knocked on their doors over Christmas and told them their homes would be knocked down.
The ruling, while welcomed, does not mean they are in the clear – instead, the court case is simply rolled back to where it was in 2002, and starts afresh. IE, the Judge admits that the last eight years of court cases have been a complete waste of time, and starts afresh.
So now they have to go to court again and prove that their homes are legal, or, at best, built in good faith and as such should be legalised.
If it took eight years for the court case, unopposed any real defense team, to be decided the first time round – how long will it take this time?