Cracked and Slipping

This is probably the fourth article that we have done on La Herradura’s Carmenes del Mar, but each time it is to say that it has got worse.

Quite who’s idea it was to stick 500 houses, distributed in several urbanizactiones, slap, bang on the Cerro Gordo, hitherto-unspoilt headland is one thing, but quite another is who’s going to pay for all those broken dreams is another. It all started twelve years ago…

It wasn’t until 2006/07 that the serious cracks began to appear as the hillside began to slip downwards but since then the unforgiving process has not stopped.

Common areas along with the Atarzanas, Pueblo Caliaiza and Casas Especiales which have also been affected whilst other areas have remained intact or better said, firmly attached.

By 2010, one family had to move out because they felt that their lives would be in danger if they remained, and who could blame them seeing how houses and roads looked as though they had been hit by a small earthquake – in a way they had because the result is the same.

Of course, when the problems emerged, owners who had ploughed their life’s savings into these dwellings with such superb views, got straight onto the developers, but the steps taken were completely inadequate, resulting in some chalets having to be demolished.

The Town Hall tuts and issues statements of solidarity and understanding… but still charge the IBI, even though the owners cannot live in their properties. And of course, the banks, who had their hearts removed a long time ago to make way for storage space for profits, insist on the mortgage payments being punctually met.

However, the first thing that the present municipal administration did was to survey and measure earth movements at regular intervals to see just how fast the migration to the beach is. The Councillor for Urban Planning has already ordered around ten houses to be evacuated and cordoned off.

But of course, the Town Hall hasn’t got a penny, and stabilizing the hillside and repairing streets etc would run into several million euros, so unless somebody turns up in a red cape and blue tights and pushes the whole lot uphill again – free of charge – there’s not a lot of hope.

The affected property owners of the six urbanizaciones began legal proceedings against the property developer, Comarex, and the insurance companies in 2010 but its a slow process – the houses are moving faster than the legal proceedings – by April this year the preliminary hearings took place, with the trial being booked for the 23rd, 24th and 25th of October.

And as we began this article, how in the hell did the Town Hall ever give permission to build, destroying a place of naturally beauty, on a hillside known for decades as the La Piedra que Anda (The stone that walks) precisely because it is so unstable?

Lastly, and very importantly: The majority of the houses within Carmenes del Mar are not affected; just a percentage are, and we would like to emphasize that fact.

If any of our readers lives in Carmenes del Mar and would like us to set up a photo gallery to accompany this article, send us photos of the damage to your property and we will add them.

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(News: Herradura, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)