Retired British couple see their £170,000 dream home in Spain bulldozed - after rogue developer built it without planning permission

A British couple who spent almost £170,000 on their dream Spanish retreat had to watch it get bulldozed - after a rogue developer built it without planning permission.

Retired John and Jan Brooks bought the new three-bedroom hilltop villa in Andalucia, complete with roof terrace and swimming pool.

They had planned to spend half the year enjoying their Spanish property. But then one day police officers turned up at the house with a demolition notice less than a year after they had moved in.

The local authorities made the decision to demolish the house after it emerged that it was one of four built illegally in the Sierra de los Filabres - all of which were bought by British expats.

John and Jan of Taunton, Somerset, who have six children and six grandchildren, spent barely a year in the house before they were forced to return to the UK for good.

Following a lengthy legal battle, it was demolished on Monday this week when the bulldozers arrived and razed it to the ground, together with a neighbouring property. The demolition was filmed by a neighbour.

The Spanish developer who built the property has been handed a suspended jail sentence.

John, 73, a retired sales manager, said: 'It was beautiful and all that remains now is a dust-filled swimming pool.

'It had magnificent huge wooden doors and a massive roof terrace on top where you could have had a party for 50 people, it was so huge.

'It was our pension and a place where in happier times we enjoyed great times with our family.

'We feel so angry about what has happened.  Now it is has been torn from the ground. Even the rubble has gone.

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'There are no words to adequately describe our anger at the greedy, selfish, corrupt creatures who caused this situation.'

John and wife Jan, 70, a retired PA, first bought a home on the island of Menorca 13 years ago but decided to sell up in 2005 and invest the cash in a mainland retreat.

They bought the house inland from Almeria for 180,000 Euros and spent a further 20,000 Euros on a kitchen and pool.

The property was built by developer Francisco Pedrosa who was handed a five-month suspended jail term last year.

He was also ordered to demolish the homes and give the duped ex-pats full compensation.

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However, the Brooks fear they have no prospect of getting their money back as Pedrosa has since declared himself bankrupt.

The Spanish courts heard that police turned up twice during the construction ordering Pedrosa to stop but he continued and the homes were sold.

Local mayor Pedro Llamas also illegally authorised the supply of water and electricity to the four houses and failed to halt the build.

Llamas challenged his conviction but the supreme court upheld a two year suspended prison sentence and he was forced to give up public office for 23 months.

The local government sent in their own machines to flatten the home on Monday and the remaining two illegal houses are set to be torn down in the coming days.

Campaigners estimate corrupt developers built 300,000 illegal properties during a ten-year housing boom in Spain.

John said: 'We have no intention of ever setting foot in Spain again.

'Why should we spend money in Spain and give them the pleasure of having any more of my money? Never again.'

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