Architects and builders are amongst the eight accused standing trial for the existing damage in the urbanización, comprising of 400 dwellings.
The owners complain that when they purchased the dwellings, they did not know that the developers had not completed the project handover with the Town Hall, even though each dwelling had the required First Occupancy Licence, and were paying municipal property tax, IBI (rubbish collection, etc).
One of the owners explained that when the first cracks appeared they thought that they were constructions faults; i.e., shoddy workmanship, but only later did they realise that parts of the urbanization were slipping down the hill and that the problem was much, much bigger.
The defence lawyer claims that the urbanización had suffered breakages, such as the one to the water mains for all of the houses, which the owners failed to put right, which had consequently seeped into the hillside.
“We have repaired all that was in our hands to do, we informed the builders and the insurance company. I don’t know whose job it is to do these things or even if they can legally be done with the trial ongoing,” explained one of the property owners.
One of the architects in charge of one of the damaged areas says that he designed a part of it but simply “touched up” the work of a colleague working on the Second Phase and put his signature to it.
The same architect assured the judge that the builders cut no corners nor spared expenses in the building stage and that they had no knowledge of the problem until several years afterwards. The geo-technical report, he says, stipulated that there could be no large structures, which is why they built single-family units. They built foundations for the houses to the correct specifications and although the problem of the water seepage came to light, nobody advised against building.
This first court session was to hear the statements of the accused and claimants. The other seven sessions will be for the hearing of experts’ technical reports.
(News: Herradura, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)