Log in

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me

Create an account

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
Name *
Username *
Password *
Verify password *
Email *
Verify email *
Captcha *

Armona homes saved from demolition at the stroke of a pen

ARMONAtODDHOUSEIn the long running battle on the island of Armona between a British couple, Paul Roseby and James Tod, and the various State departments that control planning laws and the island’s development, there is good news at last that their island home may be able to be completed.

There have been many false starts and several expensive court cases to wade through but the couple have remained determined that the home they are building on Armona should be completed as this is what the Council has authorised.

The modern, steel-framed property used the footprint of two old properties that were demolished in preparation for what was to be a dream home, with views over the Ria Formosa.

But the area in which the property was being built was not an authorised one and the Britons’ house, plus 140 other island homes, were deemed illegal and the court battles started.

Olhão mayor, António Pina, has assured the couple that all will be well but over the past two years, optimism was hard to keep alive as they fought to see a Polis demolition order cancelled.

The legal situation was far bigger than either Briton had imagined as the Council, which had authorised scores of houses over the years, faced a massive compensation bill and asked the Ministry of the Environment to intervene and redraw the land map to add the prohibited area to the island's urban zone.

This plan is said to be on the Environment Minister’s desk and will be signed-off this September which, if so, should allow work to restart and the threat of demolition finally to be erased. Reacting to a threat to mount a 27-hour protest outside the ministry, each hour representing a month of delay in sorting out this muddle, the couple are "promised a letter from the Minister giving us a completion date."

The demolition of 140 properties was pushed for by the disgraced former president of Polis Litoral Ria Formosa, Sebastião ‘Demolition Man’ Teixeira, who remains in charge of the Algarve Environmental Agency after being moved on from running Polis over his mishandling of the demolition programme on the neighbouring island of Culatra.

By the Minister redrawing the urban boundary, 140 property owners would be able to sleep easier in their island homes.

The other legal option, kept as a fall-back solution by the Council, was to grant each home owner a new plot in an authorised building area on the island. This would have caused as much of an uproar as having 140 houses knocked down for no good reason.

The end result may still be a mixture of these two options but this historic planning problem seems to be close to a resolution, with politics playing as much a part as local planning laws.

 

armonamap2

Pin It

Comments  

0 #8 Nick Pursell 2018-08-08 21:23
So happy that Paul & James's house will go ahead, it had planning permission and was never illegal. What about all the other people who have done extensions, added another storey without planning permission, claimed additional land for which they pay no taxes.They need to be prosecuted and the Council will not need to compensate them!
0 #7 Margaridaana 2018-08-08 13:12
A new plot with authorised building more in keeping with the Algarve, now that is a far better idea. These ugly, illegal houses totally out of keeping with the area should be demolished and those that gave 'building permission' for them fined.
0 #6 Ed 2018-08-07 14:45
Quoting MiguelJavali:
Why is this 'good news'? The building is illegal, unauthorised and ugly beyond belief. Should be demolished rapido.
It's good news because the Minister is to resolve a decades old issue. As for the property design, many disagree with your opinion - thanks for expressing it.
+1 #5 MiguelJavali 2018-08-07 13:56
Why is this 'good news'? The building is illegal, unauthorised and ugly beyond belief. Should be demolished rapido.
+2 #4 John Storridge 2018-08-07 08:19
What so puzzles north Europeans is how this sort of nonsense, getting legal permissions from Municipals to build in illegal areas of nationally protected land is so prevalent across southern Europe. Yet no one giving the local authorisations or building or selling on the illegal properties ever gets punished. Except these Brits and their neighbours who are tens of thousands out of pocket with no chance of compensation.
The recent Greek fires brought this out at their end of the Med. as many deaths occurred from people fleeing to the waterside to escape the flames running into fencing around illegal developments. Many of these developments had already even had court judgements instructing their demolishment yet the police under 'municipal' orders not to enforce these court orders !
+3 #3 Landlubber 2018-08-06 20:23
Teflon coating still appears to be in fashion.
-2 #2 Ed 2018-08-06 17:57
Quoting Jack Reacher:
A sad day for the Ria Formosa National Park. What should be returned to nature is now an illegal collection of dwellings rented out as Air B n B over the lucrative summer months. Yet again Algarve planning woefully short against any environmental setting.

These properties should never have been authorised but seeing at they have been, this is the best solution for Olhao's ratepayers. Better to continue get rates income in than cover a multi-million euro compensation payout.
+3 #1 Jack Reacher 2018-08-06 17:03
A sad day for the Ria Formosa National Park. What should be returned to nature is now an illegal collection of dwellings rented out as Air B n B over the lucrative summer months. Yet again Algarve planning woefully short against any environmental setting.

You must be a registered user to make comments.
Please register here to post your comments.