& Pondboy's prospective home
the Ebro Valley
story so far
November we decided to have a look around the Ebro Valley in southern
Catalunya to see where we would like to start looking for a new
home. We wanted to see what the local villages were like as well
as the countryside, so we could come back on another visit to
start looking for a potential house to buy.
luck would have it, we stumbled on this ruined flour Mill on the
edge of a barranc (river) near the village of Mas de Barberans.
The Mill is on the edge of the barranc and directly in front of
the els Ports national park. Tortosa is about 12 minutes drive
main building has two floors each of approximately 125 square
metres as well as an attached lambing shed which has a floor area
of 82 square metres. The property has around 25 acres of land.
The ground behind the house is flat although it does rise up a
slope at the rear border and with limestone terraces and has over
930 mature olive trees growing on it as well as some carob trees
and a few almond trees near the Mill.
Mill is in a state of disrepair and will need a lot of work to
make into a livable home, however we have made an offer and are
hoping to hear from the owners in early January. If we cannot
secure the purchase of this property, we have a number of other
properties that we want to look at that are in the same area.
are hoping to sign the preliminary contracts in the next ten days
which means that we could complete the purchase before the middle
weekend we returned to Tortosa for a flying visit to look over
the Mill in detail and to go over the contractual details with
the agents we are using.
was our first chance to look inside the building and to measure
it with some accuracy. We also walked round the land looking at
the boundaries and assessing the state everything was in.
building is actually in slightly better shape than we first envisaged.
The main roof timbers are still solid and a lot of the first floor
looks salvegeable although there are some area's which will need
replacing. The stairs are solid as are the main walls and lintels.
There is however a huge amount of work to be done before it could
be lived in.
the Monday we met the Estate Agents again and they introduced
us to the Mill owner. He is a typical older Catalunyan. Small,
spectacled, balding and with a great sense of humour but not a
word of English. After going through the pertinent details on
the contracts and talking about the history of the Mill, we all
signed the preliminary contracts which commit us to purchasing
the property as long as they get planning permission for the renovation
of the main building and the lambing shed which currently comprises
of a couple of walls and a huge bramble thicket.
planning permission should be granted in the next couple of months
as members of the family are members of the local town council
who have to pass the approval. Once that is granted, then we will
complete the full contract and the Mill will be ours.
received the builders quotations which are being submitted to
the local council for their approval to grant planning permission
to renovate the building. Wiht luck this will be granted in around
15 days. (These are likely to be Spanish days) so we are keeping
our fingers crossed that we will be able to sign the final contracts
when we go out to visit at the end of March. If not we will have
to wait until late April.
news yet about the planning application, so it does not look likely
that we will be able to finalise the purchase until the end of
April. We are off out there on Thursday 30th March to take our
son and inlaws round the property and to drive around the local
area some more. The weather forecast is for around 77-80 F which
will make a change from the 50-60 F we have had round here for
the last few weeks.
have just got back from another 5 day visit to Tortosa. The weather
was lovely and we managed to see a lot of the outlying area's
which we had not previously visited as well as the nearby coastline.
to our estate agents, we have found that the building has been
registered as a listed building due to its size, age and important
location, so we are having to wait while another planning authority
issues the relevant building permits.
have just been told the planning application has been approved
by the relevant authorities, so we should be able to complete
the purchase before the end of the month. Summer has started looking
also appears that there are plans to widen the single lane road
that runs through our property up to the Els Ports National park.
The local farmers and firemen want the extra width to ease access
for their lorries and fire tenders.
have just received a copy of the license premitting the renovation
of the Mill. It allows us usage as a Hotel or Restaurant which
is nice. The road renovations will mean that they will constuct
a passing/parking space just over the Pont de Lloret (bridge)
on the right side of the road. They will include a drive entrance
and a small wall along our side of the road in compensation for
the land they will take from our property.
are going to have to put up a plaque saying the Mill is a building
of Historic Interest, and we will have to provide access to the