Does the Algarrobico hotel break the Costal protection law? Supreme court votes today!

Exciting!!! *girlish squeal

We all remember the Algarrobico Hotel, the concrete monstrosity on the way to Carboneras that everyone (except the townhall, the promotor and the Junta de Andalucia) agrees was corruptly built with illegal permits in a doubly protected area (on the coast, and in a natural park of [previously -ed]  outstanding beauty).

Anyho, them sheriffs up at the Supreme Court are going to be deciding on whether the cattle rustlers over at Azata del Sol broke the Ley de Costas, the Coastal protection law, as a local court decided it did waaaaaay back in 2008 (and every damn judge between the local one and the big wahoonies in Seville have agreed the same so far).

The decision is actually a big one. If the Supreme Court decides that the first 100m of the hotel breaks the Costal law, then the Junta de Andalucia can no longer refuse to knock it down. The Junta is currently pretending that not all legal options have been expired and as such it must wait until a firm sentence (or one that it likes) comes along. This is the firm sentence. All the other court cases about whether it was built on expired permits, in a natural park, etc, etc, etc can be thrown out of the window if the Supreme Court says it’s breaking the Costal Law.

Of course, if the Supreme bows to its political masters (not much surprises me) and says it doesn’t break the Costal law, then all the other court cases will continue as before.

However, allow the hotel to stay would go against previous rulings in similar cases, and would also set a dangerous precendent for the future, according to legal experts consulted by Europa Press. And a half dozen courts, ranging from the local to the National (it’s a long slow battle to the Supreme) have all agreed it does break the Costal law.

The ley de Costas stipulates that nothing can be built on the first 100m of land from the average high water mark, in case Spain ever wants to build a military fortification there (seriously). The current administration wants to reform the ley de Costas, pointing out that as Spain mainly depends on its beaches for its income for tourism, not letting people build, touch or walk on them isn’t a good idea. However, when asked recently about the Algarrobico, the current Environmental minister was firm that any new law would not legalise the hotel, nor permit new ones to be built touching the water.

Madrid wants the hotel knocked down, the environmentalists want it knocked down, as does the populace. It’s become a symbol of Spain’s corruption and environmental indifference over the last 20 years, and Spain in general is ashamed of the damn thing. Not that that matters to the local council (Carboneras) who desperately want to open it, nor to the Junta, whose backs are up and who resent the intrusion into their domain. Trouble is, it’s Seville who must knock it down. Azata del Sol, the promotors? They probably wouldn’t mind it being knocked down, as long as they get the 250 million euros compensation they’ve asked for.

And so we wait for a final decision. Expected to be published by the weekend.

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