Supreme Court rejects Algarrobico Hotel compensation request

Just knock the bloody thing down is the message in the Judgement published today by the Supreme Court of Andalucia. No appeal can be made.

The Judges rejected all compensation claims from the promoters of the build, Azata del Sol, and ruled that the land it was built on is natural park property which belongs to Andalucia as part of the public domain, and must be transferred at once to ownership of the State.

It’s the closure of a long running legal battle with the hotel on the beach in Carboneras Almería. The company obtained planning permission and the land years before the natural park of Cabo de Gata was expanded, and only decided to execute the works after the park reached the sea. It would have been a lovely location, but an environmental campaign by Greenpeace, Ecologistas en Accion and others managed to stop the works, as building permits had expired and no building was supposed to be permitted with the Natural Park of Cabo de Gata.

The land ownership isn’t quite as easy as that. See, Azata del Sol bought the land in good faith before the natural park of Cabo de Gata was declared, and therefore they are entitled to compensation of the expropriation of the land. The Judges have fixed the compensation to be paid at 2,3 million euros (based on the current formula for expropriating land) and ordered that the payment be made at once by the Junta’s environmental ministry.

Furthermore, they ordered that the Junta submit the paperwork to the Land Registry to transfer the ownership deeds without further delay.

No compensation is to be paid for the half built hotel, which must be demolished once the land is transferred. Azata del Sol had asked for the building costs to be returned, estimating they’d spent almost 30 million euros on this, but this claim was rejected by the Court who said they shouldn’t have started building in the first place.

There is still one more court case to come: Was the building license issued to the company valid? The judgement is expected on the 14th of January. If it was, then Azata can still claim compensation for the works. If it wasn’t, they have to pay for the demolition.

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