Expats in ‘land-grab’ victory

Fecha Publicación: 
2 Febrero 2012

Court rules against Bédar council over construction of housing complex on nature reserve

Costa Almería News | Noticia

Three retired expat couples who fought a six-year legal battle to prevent Bédar council and a developer from building a housing complex on part of their land have won their case in the superior court.

The couples who live in the idyllic Pinar de Bédar hillside neighbourhood faced losing part of their land to developers Landsur Indálica, who intended to build up to 165 homes on a 24,800-square metre plot of land.

The three families faced an uphill struggle, as Spain’s notorious land grab laws allow developers to seize up to 50 per cent of privately-owned land and charge the owners a percentage of development costs, on the grounds that the latter will benefit from much-needed infrastructure in addition to becoming de facto shareholders of a construction project.

In the Bédar case, the local council went on record in December 2006 to state that the sector in question was not protected land.

However, the TSJA (Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Andalucía) court ruled that both the developers and the local council were breaching environmental laws as the land in question is a protected LIC (Lugar de Interés Comunitario) - an EU-designated nature reserve).

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