WHAT started off as a dream project for two British men in Campanet has ended in a nightmare with a motorway through their home, the Balearic government owing them 215'000 euros and their credit rating destroyed. The story of Trevor Wright and Stuart Wells is another clear example that the Balearic government's road programme is not running smoothly.
In 2003 Trevor and Stuart bought a beautiful Majorcan farmhouse on the outskirts of Campanet. It had a lovely garden and was a real dream-purchase. That was February. A mortgage for part of the value of the property was secured and everything was looking rosy. There were distant rumours that a new road could be built in the area but assurances were received that it was still very much in the planning stages. Just six months later they were informed in no uncertain terms that indeed the road was going ahead and it would go straight through their living room! The letter from the Ministry of Public Works said that their home was being expropriated, which in layman's terms means that it is being bought by the government and there is little or nothing you can do about it. Both Trevor and Stuart said that they supported the new road plans and had not got involved in the wave of protests which was running through the village. With their options very limited they decided to negotiate with the government, whose initial offer for the property was laughable and did not even cover the mortgage. But after frantic negotiations they reached a settlement over the price, in the region of 350'000 euros. By law, according to Stuart and Trevor, the government can't send in the bulldozers until the total value of the property has been paid to the owners. After two small payments each of about 70'000 euros, the diggers were on the their door-step and Stuart and Trevor were forced to move out and find alternative accommodation until the local government paid the outstanding sum. Unfortunately, they are still waiting and more than a year has now passed. To make matters worse the bank also wants their share of the house value to pay off the mortgage. As they haven't been paid and the two British men are not in a position to keep up the mortgage payments, their credit rating has taken a dive and effectively Stuart has been blacklisted. Every two weeks for the last year they have called the local authorities and asked for the payment of the remaining sum. Their lawyer has also been involved and so has the bank. But 12 months later and no sign of the money. Meanwhile, their pride and a joy, their Campanet home, has just become a lane in a motorway. All we want is our money. We just want the local government to settle up so that we can move on, said Stuart. It's a nightmare. To lose your home and then have to wait for the money is just scandalous. We haven't even thought about compensation just yet. But we will obviously want some payment for all the stress we have suffered and are suffering. I don't think I will buy a house in Majorca ever again after all this, said Stuart. A dream has become a year-long nightmare.
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