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Demolition in Vera (Almeria)

Last Updated: 17 January 2008 19:30

British pensioners, Len and Helen Prior, have had their home demolished in Vera (Almeria) after having been allowed two hours to remove their furniture and belongings.
Mr Prior, who has a heart condition, collapsed, an ambulances was call but he was later discharged from hospital.
Vera Town Hall provided temporary accommodation in a nearby hotel.

According to international press reports it would seem that they had a valid building licence from Vera Town Hall but the regional government of Andalusia (La Junta de Andalucía) claimed that the building was on rural land and had to be demolished.
A further 10 homes in the neighbourhood are likewise affected.

One press report stated many ex-pat owners have similar problems but the demolition of property so far has been rare. There are fears that this action by Andalusia’s regional government could become a common occurrence in the near future.

The press also quoted the local mayor, Félix López Caparrós, as saying that the Priors had fallen victim to a planning dispute between the town hall and the regional government, that they (the Town Hall) had become the scapegoat and that the demolition was illegal because the regional authorities had not awaited the verdict of a court appeal.

NOTE: The province of Almeria is part of Andalusia a semi-autonomous state on the Spanish Mediterranean. The other Mediterranean state, from South to North, are Murcia, Valencia (Alicante, Valencia and Castellon and Catalonia.

Vera (Almeria) Demolition, links to reports by the British Press:

The Telegraph January 11, By Fiona Govan in Madrid "British couple's Costa dream is demolished"

The Daily Mail 12 January by Tim Worden "More British dream retirement homes to be demolished in Spanish planning row"


The Regional Government Replies.

The Regional Government of Andalusia has replied to the European Parliament's request for information about the demolition of a house in Vera (Almeria) belonging to a British family.
Translation: The Vera (Almeria) Demolition.


Vera (Almeria) Demolition, reports by the Spanish Press:

From, a report published 10 Junuary 2008. in Spanish translates as follows -

The local government undertakes the demolition of a house, considered illegal, in La Loma.
The mayor of the municipality, Felix Lopez, is outraged and states that "We have become the scapegoat for the province of Almeria"

Yesterday at 15.00 in Vera the demolition of a house began, which was judged to be illegal by the Government of Andalusia, according to the sentence of the Court Number 2 of the Almeria Administration in April 2004.

The mayor of the municipality, Felix Lopez Caparrós, yesterday expressed outrage at the demolition of this house located on the site of La Loma and commented that they have become the scapegoat for the province of Almeria.
According to the mayor, the demolition was carried out in the presence of the Regional Police and the Vera Local Police in order to avoid any possible problems.
For four years two retired British subjects, of around seventy years, lived in the house for which the Vera City Council granted a building licence.

The mayor explained that in 2002 the building licence for this rural house was issued as it complies with the provisions of the subsidiary regulations of the town of Vera i.e Minimum plots size of 10,000 M2, distance from the boundaries of 10 metres and 50 metres minimum distance from other buildings.
The mayor stated that, nevertheless, the Provincial Commission of Almeria (an agency of the Ministry of Public Works) gave an adverse report in 2003; as a report is not binding, we therefore we proceeded to issue the building licence.
He stated that the ruling of the judge alluded to a possible risk of creating an nucleus of population, which he cannot accept as the Town Council does not provide municipal services in this area because there is no nucleus of population.

Moreover, as the Mayor of Vera stated, this demolition is an injustice because, although there is a counter-claim in the Constitutional Court and the other filed in the High Court of Andalusia, they have not waited for the resolution and, as for communicating the order for the demolition of the house, whilst it was issued on December 19 the City Council had not been officially informed until the day before yesterday at 14:30 hours. According to the Mayor, he called the Delegation of Public Works on Tuesday and was told me that the demolition date had been advised on 28 December, but the Town Hall of Vera had no knowledge of this.

The mayor concluded that the Delegation of Public Works should be happy because, in the province of Almeria, there are over 1,600 illegal homes in rustic ground in river beds, rural roads and parks in the province and the short-sightedness of the Ministry of Public Works makes them think that this will legalize all urbanism in the province.

© 2008

Links to other articles about the Vera (Almeria) Demolition.

The Vera (Almeria) Demolition. British pensioners, Len and Helen Prior, have had their home demolished in Vera (Almeria) after having been allowed two hours to remove their furniture and belongings. Mr Prior, who has a heart condition ......

The Regional Government Report to the European Parliament The Regional Government claims that, less than a year later, they successfully petitioned the court for a demolition order, which the Vera Town Hall refused to carry out. Eventually .....

The Vera Demolition - Review and Comments Looking at all the news items published so far, which can be seen in other articles, some important facts emerge. 1. The Various Orders from the Court: According to the press reports the Mayor .....