Irish holiday home owners in Spain have been reassured that property along the Spanish coastline is not under threat from recent government initiative.
Last October a report carried out for the Spanish government showed that over half of all beaches along the Mediterranean coast needed restoration work or improvement.
Spanish authorities are now planning on cleaning up more than 776 kilometres of coastline, but a local legal expert says that reports that Irish owned property could be demolished during the process are inaccurate.
“Demolition of building is a last resort, to be used primarily for empty houses or buildings along the coast, or where construction was not completed” says Alvaro Blasco.
Blasco, who operates a Spanish law firm from Maynooth, Co Kildare, says that property built without planning permission could also be affected during the coastal clean –up.
However he believes there will be more effort put into restoring problem buildings that are disturbing the environment, rather that tearing them down.
“I understand that demolition will occur only in very extreme cases where there is damage t the environment and to third party buildings which have fulfilled their legal requirements”.
Spanish Minister of Environment, Cristina Narbona, has said that in the event of a decision to demolish, no work will take place without an agreement with property owners, who must be fully compensated.
“In any case, those owners affected have a right to defend themselves in the Spanish courts”, added Blasco.
The coastal clean-up sparked fears of a repeat of politically motivated police operations in 2006 when demolitions were ordered following the discovery of irregularities and corruption in certain municipalities.
However, the new measures to clean up the coast require the collaboration of politicians from all parties involved in both local authorities and regional government.