Crumbling homes case finally reaches court

La Herradura and Cerro Gordo

THE homeowners from an urbanisation with serious structural defects in La Herradura, finally had their day in court.

The Carmenes del Mar trial started last Friday, with eight people accused of being responsible for the construction of the defective urbanisation on the Cerro Gordo hillside.

Almuñecar Town Council didn’t give the approval to the building works of the overall development project, a Granada court heard.

The representatives of the homeowners affected said they were unaware of that fact when they bought their properties.

They added they had been paying taxes –including for property, rubbish and electricity – ever since.

In court, the eight accused refused to take any responsibility for the damaged homes.

Their defence said the landslides that made several houses collapse, forced the closure of 15 of them and damaged many more, are the owners’ responsibility.

They claimed that the neighbours not repairing broken elements, including a main sewer, caused water to leak and provoke the landslides. The residents say that warnings were given about ‘structural irregularities’ of the site even during construction, but the developer ignored them.

Meanwhile, the architect of the urbanisation said he only designed part of it.

He insisted he mainly changed the work of a colleague, the reason why his signature is in the final project.

He also said he wasn’t aware of any defects until years later.

The Carmen del Mar urbanisation is made up of 425 houses which were sold between 2001 and 2005 for approximately €100,000 each.

New sessions of the trial are due to take place each Friday until April 25.

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    • John Gardner

      13 February 2014 • 11:44

      A depressingly familiar tale of what appears to be Town Hall corruption: No approval but they collected house taxes?
      Corruption in Spain is endemic and may in fact now be part of the Spanish gene structure – scientifically possible. This would tend to indicate that despite the now numerous cases being brought to court, with surprisingly few convictions, nothing will change until the gene pool is sufficiently changed. That is not going to happen within a generation or two.
      Will any of the defendants be found guilty? That remains to be seen but what is a fairly safe bet is that no one in power at the time will see the inside of a prison cell. Will the owners be compensated? Probably not. So why do they bother? I should imagine they feel the law must be seen to work and work well that justice will prevail. However, as so many cases in Spain have shown, justice is not the name of the game. Protecting the wealth of rich Spaniards is.
      Justice is only possible in a democracy and Spain is a young democracy not yet rid of the contamination of its Nazi past. When it finally gets there and there is every sign it is trying hard to shake off its evil past then Spain will evolve, albeit a bit late in the day. However, the result of that delay may well be that Spain in 30 years time will have evolved into the leading democratic country in Europe because it will not carry the burden of tired, old systems. I wish them well.

    • raymond smith

      13 February 2014 • 12:35

      This has being on going for many years, and had the same experience ourselves, even wrote to Mr Cashman MEP and never a reply, as you say it’s in their genes. Plus all of this can affect people buy in Spain.

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