Mar Moreno, the nº2 at the Junta de Andalucía, told reporters today that the Junta de Andalucía is very clear on the matter – as soon as the Supreme Court gives the green light, the Junta will order the bulldozers in to demolish the El Algarrobico hotel.
The question of whether or not the hotel has been built on protected land is now in the Supreme Court of Andalucia (TSJA) and a quorum of five supreme magistrates are examining the matter ahead of issuing a definitive ruling. Despite attempts by Carboneras townhall and the Junta to allow the hotel to open, the courts have consistently ruled in favour of ecologists, agreeing that the hotel has been built in a protected area.
Attempts by the Junta to argue that planning permission was granted before the National Park of Cabo de Gata was expanded have been rejected by lower courts, which have ruled that although the hotel was given planning permission in the early 80’s, the fact that the promoter of the project did not execute the permissions in time meant the building license was revoked upon the expansion of the National Park in the 90’s.
Another attempt by the Junta to change the use of the land to “D2”, which means “protected but compatible with tourism uses” was rejected by the courts in Almería, after Greenpeace and other ecologist groups argued that the Junta did not have the right to modify the plans of the National Park once they had been approved.
Last week, the Junta and the National Government came to an agreement, that Madrid would pay for the costs of the demolition, but Seville would pay for the costs of returning the area to its previous state, if demolition went ahead.
I note that at no point has it been suggested that the chaps who built the damn thing in the first place be made to pay…