Banderas’s wing… on a prayer

LAST UPDATED: 8 Feb, 2008 @ 11:25
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Antonio BanderasAndrew Lowrey in Marbella
ZORRO star Antonio Banderas will need all his swashbuckling skills to get himself out of this one.

The actor and his wife Melanie Griffith have had a demolition order served on their luxurious Marbella beach house.

But it is only one wing of their home La Gaviota, in Los Monteros, that is in for the chop.

Their appeal against an original 2003 ruling to demolish the newer wing, which impinges on public beach land, has been rejected.

Now their neighbours are insisting that the sentence of the High Court be carried out.

The celebrity pair were accused of encroaching on public land despite having received planning permission for the extension in 1995 from Marbella town hall.

At the same time more than 300 residents of Mijas have joined together to fight demolition orders on their homes.

The group, who number a few expatriates, has been threatened with fines of up to 180,000 euros.

In total some 3000 fines have been issued by Mijas town hall.

Some of those affected are old and unaware of the latest demands of urban planning laws in the area.

Many have also failed to get their projects signed off by either the Junta or water board.

A number, such as one man in the Macorra area, built a small home despite being refused permission by the town hall many times.

Juan Antonio Ruiz applied to build a tool shed next to the house his father owned in 1996.

But, like many homes, built with this type of licence, it turned into a fully-fledged home.

In 2000, he received the first of three official complaint against the home and he has finally been ordered to knock it down, at a cost of 12,000 euros.

He is also awaiting confirmation of the fine he will have to pay, but it is likely to be around 65,000 euros.

At the same time a large group of illegal houses is to be demolished in the village of La Chorrosquina, near Algeciras.

The 30 houses have been built without proper paperwork on the outskirts of the town.

The moves have come after new rules were agreed at a high level Junta meeting in November.

The regional authority is now even beginning to carry out the forced demolition of homes built with permissions from local town halls, which have later been found to be illegally built on protected land.

Demolition orders are being served on unwitting home-owners across the region.

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