Albufeira residents ready to mount €5 million compensation claim over threat of demolitions

Following the shock announcement that 28 Olhos d’Água apartments face demolition due to historic planning “illegalities”, residents have revealed they are poised to lodge a €5 million compensation claim.

“You cannot imagine what that will mean to Albufeira,” leading campaigner Rui Santos told us on Wednesday. “It would affect every single council service, and the people ‘paying’ in the end would, of course, be every citizen in the borough.”

The “surreal situation” which Santos agreed “would only happen in a third world country” has been effectively hidden for years allowing the executive responsible to move on.

Long-time mayor Desidério Silva, who authorised changes to building licences now deemed illegal, has doggedly refused all attempts at contact, as has the current mayor who claims he is paying €25 a day out of his own pocket until the court-enforced demolitions go ahead.

This claim is in fact untrue. The “fines” will only take effect after the 120-day period allowing for demolitions at the Roja Pé complex has expired, explained Santos.

As residents – a number of whom are foreigners – band together in outrage, the borough’s Socialists have issued a statement saying it is time the council did what it was meant to do: protect people and not itself.

By NATASHA DONN [email protected]

Photo: Albufeira property owners being interviewed by a television channel last week