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Abandoned apartments in Cox

As thousands of abandoned homes lie empty and deserted across the Vega Baja region thieves are stripping them bare, returning to the sites time and time again, taking everything of value they can possibly carry and rarely, if ever, being challenged by security or police.

Properties that were being marketed only a few weeks ago for sums in excess of 100,000 euro now lie derelict.

Moisés Cruz, a member of the Anti Corruption Group, Plataforma Anticorrupción Defensa de la Huerta, a group that raises awareness about the effects of speculation and unrestricted construction in the Vega Baja says “They are taking everything……aluminium, copper, doors, window frames, iron, tiles, air conditioners, even bricks. They leave behind nothing but abandoned plots, empty buildings, crumbling walls and roofs. Everything is susceptible to thieves.”

One such abandoned edifice is a former four star spa hotel, the Villa De Catral Hotel Spa, which shut down in 2010, now just a shell of its former extravagance.

Members of the group have spent the last year creating a photographic archive, documenting hundreds of derelict building that were put up during the good times and now left in ruins following the property crash. Cruz says “They were frenzied years, and now everybody is paying the price. I have details showing entire blocks of homes, apartments, town houses, luxury villas. But what are they now. It makes me cry. We could be walking through the streets of Syria or Iraq, many are little more than bomb zones. And all the time we see more and more evictions, families being thrown out onto the streets for little or no reason. We live in a very unjust world.”

Cruz highlights one such development in Almoradi where some of the abandoned shells are now being squatted in by drug addicts and tramps. Another is in Callosa de Segura where the duplex properties were selling for between 100,000 and 200,000 euros. They now lie completely abandoned, just empty shells.

There is another similar development nearby in Benferri where the wind blows over the roofs of the deserted buildings. The list just goes on and on, and unfortunately it also continues to grow. And of course with the developers falling into bankruptcy the developments are increasingly owned by banks which seem to be of little concern.

“In some cases, with just a minimal investment, many could be used as social housing for the homeless or for those who cannot currently afford their own home," said Cruz.

It would seem that those in authority, the planners, the bankers and the builders have only occasionally been blessed with common sense. One such example was in Almoradi (population 20,000) early this year when the council refused permission for 11,000 new homes to accommodate more than 50,000 inhabitants.

Another such decision was taken by the High Court which quashed a San Miguel de Salinas (population 7,000) plan because of the lack of an adequate environmental assessment. Developers there were hoping to build up to 40,000 new homes which would increase the population of the town by about 100,000 people.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/44650/

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