As residents of Sun Golf Villas in Villamartin were being updated on recent developments last Wednesday, CLARO’s Antonio Cerdan was speaking on the phone to the Orihuela Councillor for Infrastructure, Angel Noguera.
The councillor promised that he would visit the urbanisation within the following 48 hours, stating that permission was already being sought from La Confederación Hidrográfica del Segura (CHS) to move problematic drainage, which he assured would certainly help to alleviate the situation of the constant flooding.
The news was greeted with delight by the owners of the 31 properties built on the edge of Rambla de las Estacas who until recently have felt increasingly abandoned by both the Orihuela Council and the CHS.
“We are genuinely concerned that another heavy downpour could see a number of the houses losing even more of their gardens until, in the very near future the properties themselves will crash away beneath us,” said owner Craig Campbell Clements.
“I live in constant fear while my daughter Abby is in continual panic mode. Every time it rains we just can’t sleep and we inevitably end up sitting awake all night listening to every creak, concerned that the next shower could see the back of the house disappearing into the barranco and my family with it. We really are that worried,” said Craig.
Next door neighbour Russell Henderson meanwhile criticised both the CHS and the Orihuela Council saying that neither has provided any support to the residents. “We have asked if we can carry out repair work ourselves, only to be told by CHS that we will be breaking the law and could face heavy fines. Yet they refuse to get involved themselves, even though they are the national government agency responsible for all public water-courses in the area of which the barranco is just one.”
Mr Henderson insisted the authorities need to take ownership of the problem, and it needs to happen very soon.
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Peter Houghton of the Partido Independencia Orihuela Costa told the Leader that the situation could have been quickly resolved many months ago, and all the stress caused to the residents avoided, had the Ayuntamiento or the CHS acted swiftly, but once again it is a case of ‘out of sight and out of mind’ as it tends to be with anything that is required to be done on the coast.
A number of the homes are now teetering on the edge of the ravine. The residents have to put up with the constant smell of leaking sewage and, as well as a number of gardens, a corner of the communal pool area is dangerously exposed underneath. “If we have any more rain and it erodes further, the weight of the water in the swimming pool could bring the whole thing crashing down,” Mr Henderson added.
“One British couple whose patio was torn in half are too scared to return to their property.”
Cabo Roig abogado, Juan Antonio Morales, is working on behalf of Craig Campbell Clements, but despite regular contact with both the Orihuela Town Hall and the CHS, but he too has seen absolutely no progress.
However CLARO reported that they have also brought the matter to the attention of the mayor, Emilio Bascuñana.
“The Alcalde has agreed to meet with representatives of the urbanisation next week,” Antonio Cerdan told the residents. He will be in Orihuela Costa and he has invited 2 or 3 of the owners to brief him on the current situation.”
“Whilst we are still no further forward, thanks to the English Language press and CLARO the authorities are being made aware of our situation. We are nowhere near the end of our living nightmare just yet,” said Mr Henderson, “but at long last the authorities are at least aware of, and taking an interest in our situation.”