This is a cautionary tale.....a tragic story of a young British couple who did everything according to the letter of the law....but still lost everything they had!
British Expat couple Martin Wade and Abigail Wesson, from Fuenta Neuva, Orce, in the province of Granada, were forced to evacuate their home due to a property collapsing beneath their house.
The couple had spent two and a half years living and working on their cavehouse making it their first home together.....but as of December 2011 they were forced to leave their home in panic! At first a 1.5 metre hole appeared outside their property in which Martin only just avoided disappearing underground, as the ground literally went from under his feet.
This was allegedly due to faulty pipework and poor restoration work carried out by the builder
The pipes (which weren't even theirs) had probably been leaking for some time......causing the ground beneath the pipes to disintegrate, making the surface of ground above the pipes unstable. Eventually the ground totally collapsed!
Within a week their entire yard was gone, and despite the fact there had been no rain, the hole is now almost four metres deep.
The house itself is now cracking inside......obviously being pulled towards the hole at the front. Then snow came on 20th of March, causing leakage into their bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. Effectively turning their home into a giant paddling pool.
They have since been informed by a neighbour that their property and six others nearby were due to be demolished as they had been condemmed by Orce Town Hall. Reports indicate that money was allegedly offered by the builder to reform them and sell them on quickly. Sadly, Martin and Abigail became the unknowing victims of this questionable situation.
The distressed couple have appealed for help....which has been denied from Orce town hall, the builder, and the company that sold them the property.
To add insult to injury, the mayor of Orce has now tried to blame them.....stating that because they put a thin surface layer of gravel down outside, this caused the ground to disintegrate. Incredibly, the Mayor managed to arrive at this conclusion without ever actually visiting the premises himself.
It has to be pointed out that Orce Town Hall actually approved all the works to be carried out by Jesus Jarado Marin.....despite the fact that they had previously categorised the properties as condemned.
The current situation is the that the builder says it will only cost 400 Euros to repair, which given the state of the devastation, seems a bit difficult to believe. Examination of the photographic evidence suggests that the area is just too dangerous to attempt any repairs....after all, this location was previously condemned. And even venturing into the area on foot could be extremely dangerous....let alone try to perform major construction work.
Orce Town Hall deny any responsibilty in the matter despite allowing these properties to be built, and state that Martin and Abigail are accountable for any repairs. Whether any repairs are even possible, given the fact that the ground is totally collapsing around their home, is debatable.
Martin and Abigail put all their savings into this property, and as the victims in this tragedy, were made homeless. They are now being supported by Abigails parents, who pay the couple's rent and storage charges for their belongings. But the ominious fact is that they cannot continue to maintain that financial assistance forever.
The couple are remaining as positive as they can, despite the fact that it's virtually ruined their lives, and wrecked their new start in Spain together.....which included getting married in 2012.
It's a frightening thought that despite doing everything legally according to the Spanish system, they have lost everything!
Now, the system that granted the permission and approved all the building work that was carried out, has brought down the shutters. Quite simply.....they don't want to know!
All Martin and Abigail want is JUSTICE, and unfortunately the entity that dispenses the justice is also the one that has to be held accountable for this tragedy. A tragedy which could have resulted in loss of life.
What can we read into this? That's for you to decide! But questions need to be asked.....and the only way the horror of this situation can be addressed is by forcing the authorities to be accountable!
There's been too many tragedies and miscarriages of justice that have ruined Brit lives in recent years over here in Spain. The powers that be just shrug their shoulders, and do as they like. Now it's time that we, collectively, did something about it!
You can do your bit to help Martin and Abigail get justice! Give out links to this thread, share it on FaceBook, Twitter, Google Plus, other Expat Forums, newspapers, TV...whatever! Let's get it viral to the point that the Brit national dailies start running with it.
If any media groups, newspapers etc want more info, or to interview the couple, or even survey the carnage for themselves....then email me at [email protected]
and I'll get the messages through to them!