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Hope for Ria Formosa islanders as Armona Brits dodge demolition deadlineToday, April 6, was meant to have been the day time ran out for the ‘dream home’ of Britons Paul Roseby and James Tod (click here).

The theatrical duo are however fighting their corner tooth and nail - and the deadline has passed with the house still standing.

Tomorrow is the date set by APA (Portugal’s environmental agency) to compulsorily seize the house, with a view to carrying out enforced demolition.

TodHouseSmallThe battle of the islands has moved to Armona where a high profile case leaves the Olhão mayor exposed and a couple from the UK out of pocket, close to despair and determed to warn foreigners thinking of investing in Portugal.

Paul Roseby and James Tod bought two adjoining plots on Armona, applied to the council for planning consent and were awarded a building licence for their dream home on this dreamy Ria Formosa island.

demolishVillagers on the Ria Formosa island of Culatra say they will stand between the machines and 50 properties due for demolition when contractors arrive to flatten them.

Polis Litoral Ria Formosa, the company intent on seeing properties remoevd from the isalnds, despite the Minister of the Environment saying to parliament that demolition cases will be discussed on a ‘one by one’ basis, already have taken administrative possession under the protection of 40 Maritime Policemen, leaving the islanders little hope of consultation and engagement to resolve this long-running issue.

rebelodesousaCommunity associations from the Ria Formosa villages of Culatra, Hangares and Farol have banded together in a a last-ditch attempt at halting the planned demolition of their houses in a heart-felt appeal to the President of the Republic of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo da Sousa.

In the letter sent on Saturday to the president and to newsrooms, the various groups of threatened island villagers have outlined the urgency of the problems they face, the lack of clarity and the constant threats they have suffered from successive Governments.

polislogoThe forcible possession of houses in the village of Hangares on the Ria Formosa island of Culatra, continued today amid more tension, anger and calls for the Minister of the Environment to stick to the promises he made in parliament.

Around 200 protestors were at times forcibly held back by 40 Maritime Police as locals and supporters gathered by those houses being spray-painted with a case number by five Polis Litoral staff to indicate that the property will be torn down.

PolisGoonsIt was 'business as usual - day 2'  on the Ria Formsa island of Culatra today as an intimidating Maritime Police force stood by and watched members of Polis spray numbers on a further 19 properties scheduled for demolition.

For reasons best known to the State, the Maritime Police froce of 40 had spent the night on the island and were backed up this morning by the looming presence of a Naval frigate which dwarfed the small fishing harbour.(see picture below).

CulatraRepossessions81Forty Maritime Police officers oversaw one of the most shameful, unnecessary and vindictive State-sponsored actions in recent years, as possession orders were served on the first 12 of 34 properties in the Ria Formosa village of Farol this morning, leaving many angry, distressed residents in tears.

The property possessions, the first of many scheduled for the villages of Farol and Hangares, saw members of Polis Litoral Ria Formosa fix notices to exterior walls and spray painting a number in blue on each house due for demolition under the ever-changing rules and regulations employed by the Ministry of the Environment.

CatarinaMartinsCloseUpThe leader of Portugal’s Left Bloc took the time to visit the Ria Formosa island of Culatra this Sunday on a fact finding mission and to talk to residents threatened by eviction and the destruction of their property by the State.

Catarina Martins concluded that it is imperative to call a halt the State’s possession and demolition of a further 60 island properties, due to happen next Wednesday, February 22nd.