After an at times unbelievable series of delays, the long-awaited Carmenes del Mar trial finally got under way on Friday, February 7th, in Granada's Court of First Instance. In the first of 8 sessions, the presidents of the urbanization that make up Carmenes del Mar described how, when the property owners bought their homes, they did not know that Almuñecar Town Hall had not officially accepted the urbanisation project, a step that has still not been taken 10 years later. "The houses had their Licences of First Occupation, we pay our IBI, the waste collection and electricity bills. We thought that the initial flaws were construction defects", says one of the affected owners.
Lawyers for the 8 accused have insisted that the urbanization suffered breakages and ruptured pipes, such as one in the mains water supply pipes, that the owners did not react to and repair in time and in the proper way, to avoid leaks and minimize damage. "We have repaired everything that is within our power to do, and have alerted the developer, and the insurance companies. I don't know who is responsible for making those repairs if we can't even get them done now with a judicial process", one of the residents says in response.
The property owners have detailed how, since acquiring their homes, they have closed swimming pools, changed plumbing, replaced mains pipes, and repaired the water supply, all paid for by the residents, in an attempt to reduce leaks but that all of this work has not succeeded in preventing more damage.
The architect of the urbanization, who is among the defendants, maintained that the developer did not scrimp or cut corners during the construction phase, and that he did not know anything about the defects until years later. "The geotechnical studies said that very large structures should not be built, and for this reason single-family homes were built. The foundations were made exactly as they should have been, and although the water drainage problem was raised, nobody advised against building", the architect stressed.
During this first session of the trial, the plaintiffs and the defendants presented themselves, and in the remaining seven sessions, which will take place on alternate Fridays until April 25th, reports and expert testimony will be presented.