Cartama families battle as homes slowly collapse

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NINE families in Cartama are stuck in a legal battle as their homes literally fall apart around them.
The families, which include 11 children, are fighting to get an architect, who drew up plans for their homes in Casasola urbanisation, to have work done to shore them up, claiming he failed to carry out thorough geotechnical studies on the land underneath them.
Structural damage began to appear in May 2012, spokeswoman for the group Andrea Galvez said, and since then cracks, some large enough to put a hand through, have been appearing and tiles falling off walls.
Thinking roadworks could be to blame the council carried out checks and reported that the problem was that the ground under the foundations was mostly clay, causing the homes to shift.
The solution, digging 15 metres down to reach firm ground and shore up foundations, would cost hundreds of thousands of euros, yet the architect’s insurance company has offered the affected owners just €80,000.
While the architect spoke simply of ‘disagreements’ and did not wish to give any more information while legal proceedings were going on, local Mayor Jorge Gallardo explained that unless something was done the council would eventually have to order the houses to be emptied due to the risk of them collapsing.

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