Expats in Spanish bulldozer protest

A group of UK expats who have settled in Spain took to the streets recently in an effort to save their homes.

Bulldozer of expat homes

Marches were staged after eight homes were condemned for demolition by Spanish authorities, who had decreed that they had been constructed illegally. The homes in question are located in the Spanish town of Albox. Almost 800 UK expats marched in support of the homeowners, and while appeals are planned there are fears that more homes could be in line for demolition.

The issues have arisen after it turned out that many homes bought with honest intentions were in fact built on land that was protected. The demonstrators marched for an hour which caused some disruption on the roads. The owners of the homes are said to be “devastated” by the rulings as they all stress that they were never informed about the land issues and that the homes were purchased legally with all the necessary paperwork.

The protestors are supported by the pressure group AUAN (Abusos Urbanisticos Almanzora No) who aim to bring clarity to various grey areas of Spanish property laws. The president of AUAN, Maura Hillen, told the Daily Mail: “All eight of the affected home owners did everything required of them by Spanish law to ensure their properties were legal. And now the regional government wants to knock their houses down. It is time for a change in the law.”

The residents were notified of the demolition orders mere days before Christmas and the haphazard nature of the rulings have led to uncertainty for many more expatriate homeowners. Ms Hillen added: “Nobody knows how many other demolition orders there could be waiting to be issued”.