Disabled British expat is being kicked out of Spanish home so town hall can build a one-way system

EXCLUSIVE: Expat couple slam ‘insulting’ compulsory purchase of their home

LAST UPDATED: 27 Apr, 2016 @ 12:18
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John and Deborah Gray outside their Alhaurin el Grande home
John and Deborah Gray outside their Alhaurin el Grande home

A DISABLED expat is being forced out of his home so a one-way system can be built.

Retired bricklayer John Gray, 76, and his wife Deborah have been given just two months to vacate their dream home after receiving a compulsory purchase order from Alhaurin el Grande Town Hall.

The couple have brought in lawyers after they were offered an ‘insulting’ €35,000 for their property, which cost them three times as much after renovations.

“It is completely heart-breaking,” telesales worker Deborah, 57, told the Olive Press. “I am going crazy at the moment, but I have not given up hope.

“I have to keep going with my life, but I have started packing in case the worst happens.”

She added: “To offer us €35,000 is an insult. It is a third of what we have spent on it and you cannot buy another property for miles around for that sort of money.”

The couple had bought the two-bedroom, two-bathroom home for €66,000 after moving from Hertfordshire in 2003. They were later forced to spend a further €30,000 on renovations after John suffered from a stroke in 2014, leaving him with limited mobility and the need of a mobility scooter.

Deborah with mum Christina
Deborah with mum Christina

He also suffers from a lung disease called COPD and is currently undergoing tests for suspected cancer.

As well as looking after her husband, Deborah cares for her 77-year-old mother Christina, who suffers from a heart condition.

Plans for a one-way system were first mooted in 1994 before being put on hold.

However, the Grays were only notified that the work was finally going ahead last year.

They were initially told that they could stay in their home but would need to demolish their extension.

However, in March the plans were changed and the new road will mean knocking down the entire home.

The town hall has given the couple the option to take the €35,000 or move to a co-owned plot ‘twice the size’, where they will have planning permission to build two houses.

The Grays living room will be converted into a one-way street
The Gray’s living room will be converted into a one-way street

“It is all so vague and we have not got the money to build anyway,” Deborah added last night. “We simply don’t know what to do but hope that justice will prevail.”

A spokesman for the town hall confirmed that plans for a one-way system were in place but would not confirm when work would begin or comment further on the case.





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4 COMMENTS

  1. “A spokesman for the town hall confirmed that plans for a one-way system were in place but would not confirm when work would begin or comment further on the case.”

    Didn’t Spain have a new “transparency law?”. Spain in a nutshell.

  2. And of course the British government will step in aggressively to support a needy British national – he’s only an old useless retired working man – so no, go away and don’t annoy us.

  3. Dreadful. As usual, it comes back to the same old thing and that is the laws are not fit for purpose and do not protect property owners in Spain – Andalucia in particular. The person who came up with the figure of €35,000 must be hard of thinking, how can these people re-house themselves on that paltry amount of money? In the UK, there are set guidelines for compulsory purchase orders.

    I have to ask this yet again but where are the EU in all of this? I hope they have contacted their MEP.

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