THE Andalucian high court (TSJA) has today ruled that the building licence for the 411 room, 20-storey-hotel, which was built on a protected beach in the Cabo de Gata natural park was legal.
However it doesn’t mean that the hotel is legal – just that the building licence was valid.
It was another twist in the long-running saga.
Controversy around the hotel has rumbled on for nearly a decade, in what the Junta’s Environmental minister described as a ‘judicial tangle’.
In May the TSJA ruled that the land on which the unsightly hotel was built belongs to the Junta, just weeks after ruling it belonged to the local municipality of Carboneras.
The shock decision reversal was prompted when six European environmental agencies – including Greenpeace and Ecologistas en Accion – condemned the TSJA’s previous ruling.
Also in May nearly 100 Greenpeace activists previously painted an 8,000 square metre black circle on the front of the building with ‘ilegal hotel’ spelled out in white letters. The non-governmental organisation claims the hotel is a ‘black spot’ on the otherwise beautiful coastline.
However many people living nearby – who are in favour of the hotel – have voiced their opinion through their own graffiti. Residents painted over the ‘i’ in Greenpeace’s ‘ilegal hotel’ message, so it now reads ‘legal hotel’. They also added: ‘Hotel, yes! 100% legal. Work, yes – unemployment, no!’