A BRITISH couple are toasting a stunning New Year victory after they reversed a draconian demolition order on their stunning Spanish villa.
But Brits Valerie Jubb, 65, and hubby Patrick, 66, told the Olive Press how they have ‘been through hell’ over the €20,000 legal battle to save their luxury B&B.
It came after their €680,000 four-bed property in Jimena de la Frontera, was slapped with a demolition order in early 2015, just as they came to sell it.
Beautiful Vina de Linan had been a popular holiday hideout for British holidaymakers and expats alike prior to their decision to move back home and retire.
But their carefully made plans to sell up and move back to the Scottish Borders were shattered when they were ordered to knock down the first floor, kitchen and pool.
The order came despite the fact that all the alterations had been done BEFORE they bought the home in 2008.
Indeed, as we reported in 2015, the couple had even got a certificate from the Junta declaring that there were ‘no outstanding’ planning infractions when they bought the home.
As it later emerged – and agreed by a Malaga court – the previous owners had actually legalised the 1994 extensions to the home in 2005.
“I cannot express how hard these last three years of hell have been,” Valerie told the Olive Press from her home in Scotland.
“It has drained us on a personal and financial level, costing us €20,000 in fees, but we are so happy that it is finally over and we can move on.”
She continued: “The huge court case last May was traumatic. We were literally fighting for our livelihood, everything was on the line.
We had sunk our life savings into that place.”
The Scottish couple had been on the verge of selling the home when Jimena town hall declared that the first floor, kitchen and pool had been constructed illegally.
The problem emerged because the home is inside the Alcornocales Natural Park, meaning the normal ‘four year rule’ did not apply – meaning the land registry should never have approved the alterations.
“It has been a complete failure on the part of the town hall and those in charge, and we will never invest in Spanish property again,” added Valerie.
“I feel totally betrayed by the town hall. I ran the local animal rescue centre and saved them a fortune by rehoming and neutering stray cats and dogs.
“It’s such a shame because the area is so beautiful, but at least we can now finally move on.”