A BRITISH expat couple have called in lawyers after a hotel was built just feet from their home, allegedly breaking environmental laws.
John Hillman, 72, and wife Lori, 65 insist their community was not warned about the construction, which has blocked almost all their light.
They have joined residents at Urbanizacion Zahara Beach to seek legal help and launch a petition, which has nearly 2,000 signatures.
They believe the wall, which now reaches three storeys high and is set to add an attic, is against the law in Spain.
“It is completely out of order. We now can’t see anything at all and they still look like they have more to add to it. Before we had beautiful views but it’s all been blocked now,” pensioner John told the Olive Press.
The Hillmans, who have owned their property in Zahara de los Atunes, near Cadiz, for nearly 30 years, claim workers on the 28-apartment Turisticos Gran Sol project have even discarded cement and polystyrene onto their terraces during building work.
They have also attempted to cap and build the car park over a well, which keeps flooding the site with toxic water.
The couple, who divide their year between Zahara and Sussex, claim waste water from the site is going into nearby dunes, killing grass and swamping the area with stagnant water – a breach of the Ley de Costas.
“There is a growing group of residents waking up to the scale of the damage, which the environment department seem to do nothing about,” added Lori.
Despite numerous letters and calls to Barbate Town Hall demanding answers and documents, residents have received little information about the vast project.
It took the group almost five months to obtain plans of the complex.
The project may now be in trouble after residents said signage has been taken down and building has stopped over the past few days, however this has not been confirmed.
Either way, residents added the damage is already done.
“The first time we heard about the project was when a JCB was bashing our back patio wall at 8am, trying to pull our huge tree out.
“We managed to stop them after my son threatened to call the police,” added Lori, an acupuncturist who works in Gibraltar.
They claim that they were not given the statutory 20-day warning period in order to make their allegations against the scheme.
“It’s the injustice. No one ever knocked on our door explaining about the rubbish or to warn us about the building work,” added Lori.
The couple, along with other residents, have since sought legal help and launched a 1,600-strong petition.
It comes after the EU fined Spain a staggering €12 million this summer for a ‘prolonged failure’ to comply with a European directive on dealing with sewage and treatment.
The majority of offending towns are in Andalucia, including Barbate, Tarifa, Nerja, Estepona, Coin and Alhaurin el Grande.
Barbate Town Hall and Apartamentos Turisticos Gran Sol failed to comment in time for press.
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