4 Mar, 2010 @ 11:00
1 min read

Blind terror in Almeria

A BRITISH man has been blinded by the fear of his home being demolished.

Terry Haycock has also suffered a mini-stroke as a result of the protracted negotiations over the status of his three-bedroom villa.

The pensioner, in his sixties, has suffered temporary blindness and facial paralysis, according to his lawyer.

It has seen him hospitalised on numerous occasions since he received a demolition order on his home in Almeria, last month.

“He’s going in for more tests this week and his wife is very distressed.”

Friend Christine Payne, 65, said: “He’s not doing well and the continual threat of demolition is only making it worse.

“He’s going in for more tests this week and his wife is very distressed.”

He is not the only homeowner to be suffering from serious illness due to the threat of demolition of eight homes in the Albox area.

Another owner Muriel Burns, 70, has been admitted to hospital suffering from respiratory problems brought on by the stress of the affair.

82, insisted her nervous tension had been directly caused by the threat of demolition to their 200,000 euro villa.

“My wife was in a terrible state at the beginning of Christmas when I had to take her to the doctors and she was on medication,” he revealed.

The homeowners have all been handed demolition orders, which are due to see their homes knocked down this Spring.

Yet each of the eight owners insist they got planning permission the correct way through their local town hall.

However, it now appears that the Albox authorities allowed the homes to be built without permission from the regional government.

It is estimated that over 100 million euros was spent by expatriate families in the Albox area.

But despite that, Albox mayor Jose Garcia insists he has a legal obligation to carry out demolitions.

Most owners are retired pensioners who bought the land in good faith.

Maura Hillen, of Pressure group AUAN, which is representing those facing demolitions, said: “Most of these people are under extreme pressure over the demolitions.

“I am sure we are going to see many other people succumb to the stress.”

Local Spanish lawyer Gerard Vazquez, who is representing the Haycocks, described the situation as “a disgrace”.

He added: “We are not dealing with moving papers around here, we are dealing with peoples’ lives.

“These are old-age pensioners, threatened with losing their homes.”

The British Consul meanwhile, has arranged a joint meeting with the Junta’s planning office this month.

One of those affected, Graham Beesley, told the Olive Press he is confident something will be achieved.

“I’ve had a telephone call from the embassy and they want to resolve it. He told me not to get my hopes up but I’m feeling fairly confident. We’ll wait and see.”

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es


  1. Unless Mr.Beesley has had specific information from someone in the know that the Junta have decided to reverse their earlier decision then I can only suggest he must be sniffing something and whatever it is I’d like some of it because IF the Junta DO decide NOT to demolish these properties and I sincerely hope that they DO NOT DEMOLISH THEM then this will become the “stated case” so to speak on which all others throughout Andalucia will be judged.Again I’ve never known the British Embassy or Government enter into any talks with the Spanish Government on this topic in fact they have acted in quite the opposite manner by washing their hands and responsibilities for any ex-pats and their “problems”. But obviously it all rests on whether Mr.Beesley has been privy to something that he cannot at this time divulge?

  2. This article was found on the Entertainer. Its about the illegal homes in Andalucía

    The Junta de Andalucía’s new housing tzar, Rosa Urioste, at a meeting in Chiclana yesterday (a PSOE-run Cadiz town with many ‘viviendas ilegales’ and an active British property owners association), says that the – wait for it – three hundred thousand illegal homes in Andalucía – may be savable with new proposals from the Junta. These are, in effect, to legalise by owners paying for the necessary re-zoning and urbanising costs (where possible). The remarks come from an article in today’s Diario de Cadiz entitled ‘Cross it out and start again’.
    ‘We suggest useful solutions and generous treatment for the homeowners of these ‘irregular houses”, said the politician.
    ‘Irregular’. See – we’re half-way there already.
    The other part of the Junta’s plan is that no more illegal houses are to be built – ever – and any that are must be demolished at once (the ‘derribo express’).
    The mayor of Chiclana supported the idea – ‘we are in politics to look out for our citizens, we can’t ignore this problem’.
    ‘There are rules’, thundered Rosa Urioste, ‘and they must be obeyed’. These include the Junta-designed and controlled limits to urban spread in smaller communities, in essence moving people city-wards while ignoring the opportunities to enrichen and re-populate the countryside.
    ‘This won’t be an urban amnesty’, chimed in Pablo Lorenzo, the Cadiz director of Obras Públicas (Almería doesn’t at this moment have one since the oily Mr Caparrós was sacked last month). Town halls are expected to put together a list of their urban failings from which the appropriate solutions may be found over the next two years.
    So, who is to blame? Rosa Urioste reckons we all are: ‘el que compró, el que parceló, el que construyó sin permiso, el que miró para otro lado’: the buyer, the promoter, the builder and the one who looked the other way (it’s as close as she could get to say the word ‘politician’).
    Have they started with the gas chambers, is that the destination of the new high speed railway, is that the solution for British expats. living in Spain?

  3. What shouts at everyone of normal intelligence is that recently elected oficials or governors (simple people like you or me) of almost all political shade have failed the public who gave then their trust.

    They have condoned or ignored the illegal issuing of licences where they ought not to have been issued.Heads of ministeries are not seriously condemning those who have issued the licenses. They are not- with deepest apologies – compensating those who have been openly robbed. Why?

    And of those 300,000 cheated members of the public, is it not normal to be absolutely furious with these violators of your contribution to the Spanish economy and your right to a peaceful retirement ? Acting like sheep results in your being treated as sheep.

    Incompetent at best and corrupt at worst, these inappropriate officials have to be named and denounced forthwith as being unfit to fill the post for which they were trusted.

    They dare to callously demolish homes of people who trusted in their integrity, who trusted their architects, mayors, promotors and lawyers as if they were professional. So much for their investment. Their reward for their investment and trust: Demolition ! And blackmail to the councillors who try to support them. Astounding!

    Furthermore: No one can run when they are peniless and homeless and no town or city can receives taxes or pensions from those they disenfranchie. Officials (usually comfortably wrapped in diplotmaic immunity) shooting themselves in the foot is of course of no solace to the violated; and they do not even have a competent justice system to help them through the nonsense.

    I am told the Law of Precedence does not apply in Spain which means that even if your case is identical to another’s do not expect the same treatment.

    When the concept of justice can be neither respected nor validated it is time to design a new system with new people at the helm.

    Needed: people who have integrity, who are truly professional and incorruptable; not a bunch of jumped up juveniles pretending to represent those who voted them in. Both Spaniards and investors alike are being administratively ‘raped.’Petition on global sites to get proper recognition of this scam. Spain’s shame. The investors curse; The neighour’s betrayal and farewell forever.

    RULES? Humans make rules; (for insensitive rule- breakers in the first instance) and they should be swiftly dismissed when they break the spirit of the law and abuse the special trust invested in them.

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