Our pain in Spain as villa of dreams has nightmare end
A Westcountry couple have seen their Spanish dream home turned to dust because it was illegally built by a rogue developer.
Retired John and Jan Brooks spent 200,000 euros on the fabulous new hilltop villa in Andalucia and moved in in 2005.
They looked forward to spending half the year in the three-bed house which had a glorious roof terrace overlooking olive groves and a huge pool.
But less than a year after moving in Spanish police turned up with a demolition notice and told them their prized property had been built without planning permission.
Buy one get one free on main course and specials excludes fillet steaks and beef wellingtons
Must book to qualify 01209 860332 and present voucher on arrival
Contact: 01209 700617
Valid until: Sunday, December 15 2013
The electricity and water were disconnected and devastated John and Jan, who have six children and six grandchildren, were forced to return to the UK for good.
They had no more use of the house for seven years as a protracted legal battle went through the Spanish courts involving the developer and the local town hall.
The house was one of four illegally built on restricted land in the Sierra de los Filabres , which were all bought by unsuspecting British ex-pats.
It was demolished on Monday this week when the bulldozers arrived and razed it to the ground, together with a neighbouring property.
The heartbreaking final hours were filmed by a neighbour who sent the footage to John and Jan, of Taunton.
John, 73, a retired sales manager, said: "It was beautiful and all that remains now is a dust-filled swimming pool.
"It was in a stunning spot, that's why we were tempted by it. It was our pension and a place where in happy times we enjoyed great times with our family.
"We feel so angry about what has happened. Now it is has been torn from the ground. Even the rubble has gone.
"There are no words to adequately describe our anger at the greedy, selfish, corrupt creatures who caused this situation."
John and wife Jan, 70, a retired PA, first bought a home on the island of Menorca 13 years ago but decided to sell up in 2005 and invest the cash in a mainland retreat.
They bought the house inland from Almeria for 180,000 euros and spent a further 20,000 euros on a beautiful kitchen and huge pool.
The property was built by rogue developer Francisco Pedrosa who was handed a five month suspended jail term last year. He was also ordered to demolish the homes and give the duped ex-pats full compensation.
But the Brooks fear they have no prospect of getting their money back as Pedrosa has since declared himself bankrupt.
The Spanish courts heard that police turned up twice during construction, ordering Pedrosa to stop but he continued and the homes were sold.
Local mayor Pedro Llamas also illegally authorised the supply of water and electricity to the four houses and failed to halt the build.
Llamas challenged his conviction but the supreme court upheld a two-year suspended prison sentence and he was forced to give up public office for 23 months.
Campaigners estimate corrupt developers built 300,000 illegal properties during a ten-year housing boom in Spain.
John said: "We have no intention of ever setting foot in Spain again."