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Expatriates fight 'unjust' Spanish planning laws

Hundreds of British expatriates have voiced their concerns over recent changes to planning laws in the south of Spain.

Over the past decade, thousands of Britons have opted to start a new life in the country, drawn by a combination of more affordable housing, cheap air links with the UK, and excellent weather.

However, for some, the dream has started to sour as local authorities have now deemed that some of the homes developed by expatriates contrary to planning laws and therefore illegal.

Expressing their outrage as what many see as the ‘persecution’ of innocent homeowners by over-zealous officials, as many as 500 expatriates took to the streets of the city of Almeria, though up to 5,000 homes have so far been declared illegal by regional head of planning, Luis Caparros.

One expatriate, Mr Jones, told the Telegraph: "We have to find our voice and make a fuss and demand to be heard in the hope that by keeping up the pressure a solution will be found."

Despite this recent trouble, at the end of last month, figures released by the Spanish government showed that the number of UK expatriates living in the country has increased by 12 per cent over the past 12 months alone.
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