A BRITISH couple who spent 200,000 euros renovating their dream home have been ordered to convert it back to a farm shed after authorities ruled it was built illegally.
John and Jenny Harvey, from Yorkshire, must also pay an 81,000 euro fine for carrying out work on the two-bedroom, converted farm building in Lanjaron.
The desperate couple, who insist they have all the paperwork to prove the property is legal, have turned to the European Court of Human Rights in a bid to save their home.
The property – bought in 2003 for 25,000 euros – was initially due to be demolished in February 2008 because the work violated the terms of the planning permission.
The couple were forced to move back to the UK in July 2008 due to ill health caused by the stressful situation. But after being reassured by Lanjaron Council last October that the house would not be demolished, the Harvey’s were informed last month that they must convert it back to its original use.
“It has ruined our lives. We are totally innocent but are being persecuted,” 62-year-old Jenny, told the Olive Press.
“We are now on the poverty line. We do not have any money to pay fines or have any work carried out on the property.
“We have applied to the court in Brussels but have been told that it could be years before we know if we can even appeal.
“We have also been in contact with Europe Minister David Lidington who is looking into the case,” the former legal executive added.
“We know everything was conducted underhand and we are the victims of deceit, fraud and theft.”