Albox townhall has been told it has civil responsibility in the case of 98 mainly British owned houses that face demolition in the town, and has been ordered to consign 3,1 million euros to the courts to cover any possible compensation costs.
Three building companies are also named in the judicial order: ‘Proyecto y Construcciones Almanzora SL’, Procoal Villas SL, & Empire Villas SL. The three companies share civil responsibility with the townhall, but as they are currently not trading the town will have to put up the majority of the money.
Two former directors of the named companies, Juan Francisco A.G. & Diego Luis A.H. have also been told to consign 3,8 million and 3,1 million euros each to the courts or face imprisonment until trial. The two directors, and their companies, face charges of urban corruption, forgery, bribery and tax evasion.
A third man, an architect, is also facing an order to consign 3,1 million euros in the case, but as the Public Prosecutor has yet to finalise charges the order has not been decided upon by the Judge.
The case revolves around 98 homes sold mainly to British clients in the ‘El Romeral-La Aljambra’ urbanisation outside of Albox. All were built on rural land with building permits given “irregularly” (ie crookedly) by the townhall between 2004 and 2006 by the named companies. The Public Prosecutor says that the land “does not and never has complied with the urban planning rules of the town” and so the homes “cannot be regularised and must be removed”.
The estimated cost of demolishing the 98 homes is 688.666,95€, which would have to be paid for by the companies involved.
The case will now move forwards in the courts and the charges decided upon by the appropriate Judge, before going into decades of appeals and contra-appeals (no doubt). Meanwhile, no compensation has been mooted for the home owners who stand to lose their homes – the individual owners would have to go after the (bankrupt) builders who sold them the homes. However, if the town of Albox is finally condemned to civil responsibility in the case, homeowners could in theory sue the town for permitting the homes to be built and marketed.
A long sad story awaits these people, I’m afraid.