By Wendy Williams
ANDALUCIA’S highest court has ruled equivocally that the El Algarrobico hotel should not have been built.
In a great victory for the environment, an appeal by Carboneras town hall to allow the area to be developed has been thrown out.
The Superior Court of Justice of Andalucia (TSJA) ruled that no construction should ever have taken place in the ‘ST-1 sector’.
It reiterated that the area was already considered protected land according to the Natural Resources Management Plan (PORN) brought in in 1994.
It is now clear that the 411-room hotel built by developer Azata del Sol should not have gone ahead.
Work on the 20-story development has been halted since February 2006.
Greenpeace welcomed the new ruling and demanded that the Junta publicly accepted it before moving to have the building demolished.
A spokesman Pilar Marcos said: “It was absolutely correct that the town hall’s appeal should be thrown out. This is one of the last stretches of Spain’s coastline that is underdeveloped.”
In May this year, the TSJA warned the mayor of Carboneras that if any further work took place he would be guilty of the crime of disobedience.
The TSJA has ruled that a re-zoning plan initiated by the Junta in 1997 was not valid, as the land was already listed as not available for development.
Jaime del Val, the president of group Salvemos Mojácar y el Levante Almeriense said the latest court decision is “a very important step, almost definitive.”
And the Minister of Environment, José Juan Díaz Trillo, insisted the goal of the Junta was to “recover that territory for the use and enjoyment of citizens.”
He added, the environment department “does not want to build that hotel.”