Government fails to agree compensation package with developers
TALKS to bring to an end the ongoing saga of El Algarrobico have broken down.
In its bid to demolish the hotel, which is built upon protected land inside Europe’s largest maritime-terrestrial nature reserve, government officials presented a multi-million-euro compensation package to developers Azata del Sol.
This was flat refused, however, with the development company believed to be holding out for a sum closer to 300 million euros – far beyond the Madrid’s offer of between 30 and 40 million euros.
“We are not only talking about this hotel, but all of the plots of land around it. At our own cost, we have already installed the infrastructure for a further seven hotels, a golf course and apartments,” said spokesman for Azata del Sol, Antonio Baena.
Explaining the importance of the demolition, Environment Minister in functions, Crisitina Narbona, stressed that talks would be ongoing.
“It is in the public interest that an agreement is reached. This hotel will be knocked down,” she said.
Constructed upon beach land protected by law, the 411-bed hotel was initially green-lighted by the socialist town hall of Carboneras, Almería, in 2003.
Following complaints by locals and environmentalists – most notably Greenpeace, whose activists scaled the perimeter fence to paint Hotel Ilegal upon the complex’s facade last year – a judge in Almeria ruled against the legality of El Algarrobico in February 2006.
Three months later, the Junta de Andalucía regional government announced plans to expropriate the land and demolish the complex.
Since then, matter has been in the hands of the courts with the developers and Carboneras council officials appealing not only the legality of the hotel, but the demolition plans.