10 Oct, 2020 @ 10:00
1 min read

Two decade-long battle continues over villa land grab on Spain’s Costa Blanca

Villa Photo

AN AUSTRIAN couple are trying to get their 200-year-old Costa Blanca finca classified as an ‘Asset of Cultural Interest'(BIC) in the latest stage of a two decade-long battle against properties being built on their land.

They want the status to be granted as an ’emergency’ because work had already started and that the cultural interest of the property ‘needs to be preserved’ as a unique example of local agricultural heritage.

Hans and April Wesenauer bought the Casa Langostina villa on Campoamor’s Lomas de Don Juan urbanisation in 1996.

In 2000 they were told that they faced losing a large part of their land under the Valencian LRAU planning laws which allowed developers to take land for tourist home construction if it ‘was in the community interest’.

They launched a major campaign against the controversial ‘land grab’ and years later they face three ‘white minamalist properties’ being built next to Casa Langostina on their land.

In a complex legal tangle, the developer got an Orihuela court ruling that gives him ownership rights to the land, but no permission to execute any construction.

Despite the Wesenauers hiring some private security, developer Augusta Premium got onto the site in July and tore down a fence and some trees.

A complaint to the Guardia Civil saw the work suspended and the Wesenaurs have pledged to ‘take all possible legal action’ including going to the European Court of Human Rights.

Life has been further complicated by the couple not being able to return to Spain as they have been stranded in India since March due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

They’ve now remotely instigated the BIC request which in theory would stop any development on their land.

Their submission includes reports from an archaeologist and a geologist, which focus on the historic value of Casa Langostina and the potential damage that new construction could cause.

Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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