A COURT has ordered Palma City Council to return a damaged finca to its owners after it was expropriated in 2001 to build five storeys of social housing on the site.
No conversion or construction has happened and the court has mandated the council to pay the owners over €60,000 in compensation for damage done to the building during their years of control.
The finca was included in reform plans for the sa Calatrava area and the 155 m2 property on Calle Bastio d’en Berard was acquired by a German couple in 1995 who did not live there but rented it out.
The owners took legal action over the compulsory purchase price of just less than €60,000 as well as opposing the expropriation in principle.
They lost on both counts but plans to develop the site did not materialise.
The building was vandalised and occupied by squatters with its state deteriorating so much that it partially collapsed with Palma council announcing plans to pull it down last year.
They said its condition was down to a series of tests undertaken for an archaeological study prior to the start of the non-existent site construction.
Since 2010, the couple began fighting to get the finca back, stating that the maximum period for an authority to use an expropriated property had gone well past the five year expiry date.
Palma Council rejected all of their arguments and requests, with the matter ending up in court, which found in favour of the owners.
The court ruling said: “After 18 years, the work or service for which the expropriation was undertaken has not been carried out.”
It ordered the €60,000 compensation to be paid, but Palma council can still appeal the sentence to the Superior Court of Justice.