AN uneasy standoff has formed in Chiclana this weekend as demolition crews moved in to demolish ten houses.
Over 50 police are on hand as council staff attempt to evict ten families living in houses deemed to be illegal in the town.
While all have been served with eviction orders it is the first time that any of the claimed 20,000 illegal houses in Chiclana are to be actually knocked down.
When police and demolition crews from the council arrived at 7am on Friday morning, hundreds of locals formed in solidarity to try and help prevent the demolitions in the Majadillas Bajas area.
One local resident Marisol Ayala told the Olive Press: “This is awful, truly awful. These poor people are going to lose their homes just before Christmas.
“It is so unfair. They had no idea they were buying houses on illegal land.”
All ten houses were built in the street known as Callejon de los Frailes without municipal licences and in an area deemed as non urbanizable.
They were all built around three years ago by the same developer.
It is understood that all the homes are owned by Spaniards, apart from one owned by a German.
A total of 2,200 houses in the area are said to have been built under similar conditions.
Most of the owners of the houses have received fines of between 30,000 and 120,000 euros.
The fines have led to the setting up of a platform in defence of the owners.
One English member of the platform Patrick Williams, an ex policeman from London, said: “It has come as a big surprise and seems very harsh.
“Everyone feels for them at this time of year.”
It is almost exactly two years since the home of Len and Helen Prior was demolished in Almeria. To celebrate the second anniversary of the demolition there is a party being held at their home next month.