Ten years later: The Priors’ fight continues

0
FIGHT: Protests have been held in support of Len and Helen Prior (inset) ©AUAN & Lenox Napier

A DECADE ago, Helen and Len Prior had their dream property, which they designed themselves, demolished by Spanish authorities by the order of a judge.

Their story has become known among many expatriates living in Spain.

The couple, who are now in their 70s, saw their €350,000 Vera villa torn down in 2008 due to complex planning laws not being followed.

They were initially granted a licence for the property, which they named ‘Tranquilidad’. By a local council in 2002, and received no indication that there were any legal issues when they bought the plot of land.

Len, speaking to British media in 2012, said: “I can honestly say that that they (the Andalucian government) have wrecked our lives.

“They have taken everything we worked for away from us, 45 years of working hard and now we have nothing.”

The couple had hoped to spend their retirement in the property, but have instead found themselves fight their case in Spanish courts at the expense of their remaining savings.

The couple have never given up hope of having some success and they have finally been rewarded for their endless efforts.

A 2009 report by the EU into planning abuses in Spain was highly critical across the country.

During the economic crisis, several Brit’s experienced the same crisis that Len and Helen suffered following the property boom that occurred in the late 90s and early 2000s.

Over 300,000 homes across Andalucia were ruled illegal, but in 2015 the Spanish senate passed a law barring authorities from demolishing “illegal” houses if the owners bought in good faith.

The Priors’ breakthrough finally came in October when Vera council was ordered by to regional high court to compensate the couple €220,334, and also pay the couple €9,194 in ‘moral damages’.

If the mayor doesn’t pay by the end of February, courts can seize council assets and charge up to €40,000 in interest.

According to British media, the couple are now keen to move on with their lives and intend to use the compensation to buy a new property, however they are still reportedly yet to receive the money.

© No part of this web site may be reproduced without written permission from the publishers. All rights reserved. Todos los derechos reservados.


LEAVE A COMMENT

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

We welcome comments from readers on our website and across our social networks. We invite you to discuss issues and share your views and we encourage robust debate and criticism provided it is civil.

However we reserve the right to reject or edit comments that:

• Contain offensive language
• Include personal attacks of any kind
• Are likely to offend or target any ethnic, racial, nationality or religious group
• Are homophobic, transphobic, sexist, offensive or obscene
• Contain spam or include links to other sites
• Are clearly off topic
• Impersonate an individual or organisation, are fraudulent, defamatory of any person, threatening or invasive of another’s privacy or otherwise illegal
• Are trolling or threatening
• Promote, advertise or solicit the sale of any goods or services

You grant us a non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, worldwide licence to republish any material you submit to us, without limitation, in any format.