British couple devastated over Axarquia home demolition

ILLEGAL: The Wards’ former home.

A FURIOUS British couple whose rural home in Almayate is being torn down may take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
As first reported in the Euro Weekly News, Gill and Bob Ward have been fighting the demolition of the 50 square metre property with the help of the Save Our Homes Axarquia (SOHA) campaign group.
They were not present as the bulldozing began last Monday, their daughter Emma saying that “they are in a bad state psychologically and preferred not to come,” after being refused entry to collect the last of their personal belongings.
“The Local Police refused to let me in,” she told reporters, before confirming that the family “will continue to fight this unjustice and make the case more well-known.
“We will now contact the British Consulate in Spain to see what kind of help they can offer us, and if the Spanish justice system ignores us we will go to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.”
The pair bought the building, part of an old farmhouse, in 2004 and began renovating it in 2006 but the original façade collapsed during the makeover, rendering the work illegal according to Velez-Malaga Council.
Believing their new home to be licensed, the Wards received no advice from the town hall until 2013, when Gill received a court summons and pleaded guilty on the advice of her solicitor, subsequently paying a €1,000 fine and in 2015 applying for legalisation.
The demolition comes after the family and SOHA submitted a number of appeals to the council in recent weeks, and leaves them homeless.
They are currently staying at a friend’s home in Torre del Mar while they seek an affordable rental property.

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