Our petition to the Irish Embassy has had a very successful outcome. The consul has shown great concern and interest in the plight of the property owners in Carmenes del Mar and has written on our behalf to both the Minister for Development & Housing in the Junta de Andalucia, as well as a number of other ministers and to the Mayor of Almuñecar. Thanks to everyone who signed the petition - it has now been closed so you will no longer be able to sign it.
However, we encourage our neighbours of all other nationalities to do likewise and contact their embassy or consulate and ask them to please support their compatriots in our struggle to preserve and protect our homes in Carmenes del Mar.
Here follows the text of a sample letter that you can use to contact your Embassy and ask them to rasie their concerns with the three Spanish politicians listed at the end of the letter. Also attached, at the bottom of this post, is a copy of the letter that the Irish Embassy has sent on our behalf.
I am writing to ask for your help with a problem that affects not just me, but many other [YOUR NATIONALITY]. I am the owner of a house in an idyllic setting in the small seaside village of La Herradura on the south coast of Spain. The 416 houses in Carmenes del Mar were completed and sold between 2001 and 2005, and even before the final phase was released the first signs of trouble were evident. Cracks started to appear in walls, and pavements and roads buckled. It soon became clear that the entire urbanisation was affected by very serious structural problems.
In 2007 the owners commissioned a geological study that made it clear that the building techniques used in the construction of the houses were not adequate for the type of terrain being built on. The report showed that there was a pre-existing tendency to landslides on the hillside, described in old geological manuals, that made it wholly unsuited to this type of construction. Additionally, the report showed that a suitable geological survey had not been carried out, either by the promoter who built and sold the properties, or by the town planners and engineers who approved and issued licenses to build and sell the houses. In other words, it was known that the land was unsuited to large scale development, yet the building went ahead and 416 unsuspecting people bought into a nightmare that is still unfolding today.
The urbanisation has deteriorated at an alarming rate since 2007, and each year when the rains come we fear the worst. Houses have fallen down, and people have been issued with eviction notices. Many of us are faced with mortgages and tax bills on properties that are uninhabitable. In the face of constant denials and obstruction on the part of the promoter, and in the absence of any recognition or help from the Spanish administration, we feel abandoned by a system that offers us no protection and fails to uphold our rights. We are pursuing through the courts those we believe to be responsible, but this is a lengthy process with appeal after appeal, and we cannot hope to have a final ruling until 2020 at the earliest, As a result, we feel that we must now turn to our own countries for help.
For that reason, I ask you to please contact, on my behalf, the Spanish authorities listed below. Please convey to them your discomfort, and the concern of your government, and ask them to make every effort and to use every available resource, both technical and human, to find a solution to our problem, and to defend the interests of all EU citizens, wherever they may live.
I am very grateful for your time and interest, and hope that you can take these few small steps to help the cause of all the home owners in Carmenes del Mar.
D. José Manuel Garcia Margallo
Ministro de Asuntos Exteriores de España
Mº de Asuntos Exteriores de España
C/ Juan de Mena, 4
D. Antonio Germán Beteta Barreda
Secretario de Estado de Administraciones Públicas
Mº de Hacienda y Administraciones Públicas
C/ Alcalá 9
Susana Diaz Pacheco
Presidente de la Junta de Andalucia
Avenida de Roma S/N
Palacio de San Telmo