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News: Brits face home demolition in Valencia

Wed, 02 May 07

British homeowners could see their properties demolished after the Valencian Government found that their homes in Catral had been illegally developed...

Villas built without planning permission on traditional farmland had been sold on to Britons by developers at prices ranging from €200,000 (£135,000) to over €350,000 (£236,000), according to the local Costa Blanca News.

Esteban Gonzalez Pons, head of Valencia’s land and housing department, said this week that he will strip Catral’s municipality of its right to determine planning issues after 1,270 properties were built illegally with, apparently, no opposition from the municipality.

Potentially all the homes face demolition, with the owners receiving compensation at an as-yet undetermined rate; the government is preparing to freeze the bank accounts of developers and agents involved in the scandal to cover a proportion of the compensation costs.

“We will attempt to legalise those homes which can be legalised – houses which were built in good faith and under adequate planning supervision...Under no circumstances will we legalise any building which stands in El Hondo Natural Park,” said Gonzalez Pons.

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