Andratx town hall officials at the apartments on Monday. | Michel's


Andratx town hall expects that the demolition of the illegal apartments in Cala Llamp will start in January.

Some two years after having been given the legal authorisation for demolition, municipal inspectors and technicians were on Monday able to enter properties to which they had been denied entrance by owners. A further court order, issued at the start of last month, allowed the inspectors to gain access. Five of the eight owners of the twelve apartments had refused to let them in.

Mayor Katia Rouarch says that a tender for the demolition work will be drawn up towards the end of this month and that the work itself will be carried out in January.

The apartments were built following the issuing of a licence by the town hall in the summer of 2005. Eugenio Hidalgo was the then mayor. By the end of 2006 he was in prison. In 2013, a court ruling made clear that the licence should be declared null and void. The apartments were illegal.

It is said that these apartments were sold for up to 600,000 euros. The purchasers are clear victims of what was a lack of legal security with planning rules, and in most instances they have mortgages to pay on properties which in a couple of months will be reduced to rubble.

Andratx town hall, obliged to carry out the demolition, potentially faces massive lawsuits for compensation. The apartments were bought in good faith by purchasers who were not party to any illegality. These purchasers' claims for compensation, however, could well drag on for months or years through the courts, and in the meantime they will be paying for properties they no longer possess. The Andratx councillor for urban planning, Jaume Porsell, concedes that the demolitions will not be the end of the matter. Or anything like the end.