Frightened householders living on the Mediterranean coast are under siege as their property is stamped ‘illegal’ under Spain’s controversial Coastal Law.
Designed to protect an increasingly fragile coastline, Madrid has begun to enforce the 1988 Ley de Costas using the complex legislation to act retrospectively on buildings within set boundaries moving inland from the shoreline.
Largely overshadowed by the well-publicised scandals of Valencia’s so-called ‘land grab’ laws, the problems of illegal building, town hall corruption and damage to the Spanish environment through large-scale construction, the Coastal Law is viewed as another attack on the rights of property owners who bought homes in good faith.
However, the report on property abuses in Spain penned earlier this year for the European Parliament by Danish MEP Margrete Auken both highlighted the problem and criticised the Coastal Law – calling for the legislation to be urgently reviewed.
And the politician, who visits the Costa Blanca later this month to meet property owners, warned how at worst it could lead to “arbitrary destruction and demolition” of legally acquired property.
One of the greatest problems is that many property owners are not aware of the situation along the coast.......