THE sword of Damocles no longer hangs over five villas owned by Britons in Oria.
Changes in national and regional legislation are already kicking in for homeowners who unwittingly purchased properties on non-development land.
The decision to call off the criminal court prosecution was influenced by amendments to Spain’s Penal Code regarding illegal homes purchased in good faith. No home may now be demolished without prior compensation and the Public Prosecution Department has withdrawn the demolition order against the five villas built in Oria between 2003 and 2004.
The Prosecution Department’s decision was described as ‘important’ by Gerardo Vazquez, the lawyer representing the elderly British couple who own one of the villas.
All the owners had asked him to convey their gratitude for the administration’s ‘sensitivity’ prompted by the Penal Code changes.
Vazquez is also legal adviser to Asociacion Abusos Ubanisticos Almanzora-No – AUAN -(members pictured inset at a previous meeting) which represents the owners of homes threatened by zoning irregularities of which they were unaware when buying.
“Each case needs its own interpretation and the homeowners’ advanced years carried a lot of weight,” the lawyer said. “Losing their only home and demolition would have been significantly unjust.”