AUAN outraged by the case of Mr and Mrs Payne

Noel and Christine Payne with Maura Hillen (president AUAN) and Gerardo Vazquez (legal advisor AUAN)

On Sunday 25th March 2018 the case of Mr and Mrs Payne, a British couple in their seventies, trapped by what AUAN considers to be the Andalusian planning labyrinth, came to light.

The Junta insists on the demolition of this couples home, in spite of them having planning permission, a license of first occupation, their house inscribed on the Land Registry, with its impressive deeds, showing stamps as proof of payment of taxes to the Junta de Andalusia, and the payment of Notary and Registry fees.

Maura Hillen, president of AUAN states “foreign investors, as well as society as a whole, does not understand the determination of the Junta to demolish this couples house. In fact, the Town Hall of Albox provided a report to the courts where it stated that it would be possible to regularise the house via the figure know as an AFO.

In spite of this, and without any respect for local autonomy in planning matters, the Junta asked for a report from itself, a report which says that the house must be demolished, something which is difficult for people to understand. But if this was not enough, the Junta argues that Mr and Mrs Payne should not be compensated because it does not consider them to be third parties in good faith”.

Mrs Hillen added “It is said that you can argue anything on paper, although even on paper the situation appears to be strange, but paper can seriously affect human lives, as it is affecting the lives of Mr and Mrs Payne. They are distressed, waking up in the early hours of the morning thinking about their lamentable situation, thinking about what they have done to deserve this, why they are being treated like this. And it is clearly inhuman to treat these people like this, when there are 300,000 illegal houses in Andalusia, which are obviously impossible to demolish, the vast majority of which do not have any license whatsoever”.

She reflects “I would like to ask why three homes belonging to British people have been demolished in the Valley of Almanzora, and why is only houses belonging to British people? I do not understand it.

The message in any way is regrettable, it appears that they want to repeat the experience of the Priors, which caused great damage to society and the economy of this zone, and who have just received compensation ten years after their home was demolished in 2008. I don’t know what sort of message they want to send”.

Sources from AUAN indicate that they cannot leave things like this, asking for the support of all social and economic agents in the area, as well as all of the political parties, and announce that a meeting with these representatives of Almeria society will be held shortly to speak about the issue, to look for solutions and, above all, to do everything they can to avoid the demolition of the house of Mr and Mrs Payne, because they consider it to be unfair and outrageous.