Ecologists sue over Algorrobico hotel

LAST UPDATED: 13 Jul, 2009 @ 16:08
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Ecologists sue over Algorrobico hotel

ECOLOGISTS fighting to have Almería’s illegal Algarrobico hotel demolished are now taking legal action against the province’s public prosecutor.

They have accused Jose Maria Lopez Cervilla, of failing to prosecute the Junta and Carboneras council over the 21-storey hotel, built on the beach inside the Cabo de Gata national park.

Salvemos Mojacar have announced they are reporting him to Madrid’s anti-corruption court.

Illegal

Despite eight judicial verdicts in 2008 and two more in 2009 against the hotel, regarding irregularities in its construction, no action has been taken.

“The public prosecutor still refuses to take action,”said a spokesman. “He is lying. He describes the re-zoning changes the Junta made to allow the hotel in as ‘corrections’, but there is no way you can use ‘correction’ to describe an illegal modification made without public approval.

“These modifications affect more than 50 different points inside the Cabo de Gata natural park.”

Ecologists want to see the Junta expropriate the land on which the hotel is built, which would be a vital first step in having the hotel demolished.

The hotel’s building licence was annulled last September by Judge Jesús Rivero and the Junta ordered the creation of a report evaluating the pros and cons of continuing with expropriation proceedings. But ecologists are wary of the Junta’s real intentions.

The spokesman added: “What the Junta has said publicly about demolishing the hotel is a fallacy. They want to legalise it if they can. The current public prosecutor has ignored a whole set of evidence of illegal activity committed by the Junta.”

Injunction

This view was echoed by Greenpeace, which campaigned against the hotel, making it international news.

“We are very worried the Ministry of the Environment is going to abandon expropriation proceedings for good,” said a spokesman.

“But we intend to protest until the bulldozers pull this building down.”

A 2006 court injunction saw construction work on the four-star, 411-room hotel stopped as it contravenes the coastal law which forbids constructions within 100 metres of the coast.

Construction company Azata has, to this date, launched and lost 12 appeals to re-start work at the hotel, which was in the final stages of being finished when the building licence was taken away.

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