17 Nov, 2011 @ 12:21
1 min read

El Algarrobico demolition cost estimated at 300 million

A MEETING this week has laid out destruction plans for the Algarrobico hotel.

Environment minister Rosa Aguilar and Andalucia Junta president Jose Antonio Grinan agreed that central government will take charge of the demolition, while the Junta will organise the removal of the debris.

The cost is estimated at 300 million euros.

It is still not set in stone whether the original licence granted by Carboneras town hall was illegal.

A judge said that destroying the hotel without official confirmation of this would cause “irreparable and irreversible damage” to developer Azata, which claims it had been given the go-ahead to build the hotel and was not aware of any legal issues.

Demolition will begin as soon as a ‘firm judicial decision’ has been made to revoke the licence.

The 411-bedroom hotel was constructed on the beach inside the Cabo de Gata Natural Park.

A series of campaigns – including a sit-in by Greenpeace – fought hard against it, leading to the halt of construction in 2006.

Eloise Horsfield

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  1. Having read much about the hotel, I always thought this building on the Cabo de Gata coastline must be an absolute eyesore and an example of all that is wrong with Spanish planning procedures, and that is where I stood before having seen it.

    But, on a recent trip up the coast, I thought I’d take a look at it and I came away with the following impressions:
    1. the general area is hardly a thing of beauty
    2. the (closely) adjacent town of Carboneras – ditto –
    3. the nearby cement works, power generating plant and dock facility – ditto –
    4. the hotel itself – well – ditto but I’ve seen worse and it’s not complete which makes it appear bad.

    It’s still probably an example of all that is wrong with planning procedures, but am I alone in thinking the objections have been much overplayed?

  2. David,

    I had reason to drive along the coast past the hotel recently.

    Although there are some eyesores nearby there are also some fantastic views when you drive in the area. Plus there are prettier towns than Carboneras like San José (a bit too touristy for me), Las Negras and others along the coast.

    So I am not sure I agree with your point 1.


  3. I beg to differ David, Cabo de Gata has been featured in the new york times and several other large publications because of its beauty and vistas. Not everybody shares your opinion obviously

  4. The point is this monstrosity has been built in a National Park .. duh!. The site is miles outside Carboneras and spoils one of the most beautiful coastal drives in Europe. Well done to Greenpeace for keeping up the pressure.

  5. The key here is the precedent… If a 411 room hotel is allowed to be built on the beach inside a natural park then it means the whole of Andalucia is fair game… Some might say it is too late, and there is bugger all left… I say cabo de gata is one of europes most beautiful places… Agua amarga, las negras, rodalquivir, the chapel that inspired Lorca’s Blood Wedding…it is a stunning and haunting landscape… The algorobbico is the one key eyesore. Knocking it down would be a huge triumph for spain in its intention of putting 20 years of corruption behind it!

  6. Whether or not the area is a beauty spot is relevant. Carboneras town hall could not have given planning permission for such a controversial project without at least ‘the nod’ from the Junta. To say now that it’s ‘unclear’ whether or not the permission is legal or not is laughable and also very unbelievable. But why is the taxpayer required to foot the bill for demolition?
    This doesn’t happen when retired foreigners are taken for a ride by the Spanish planning system, based on corruption, have their homes first built,then demolished and are required to foot the bill. Not only do they lose their lifetimes investment, they have to pay to see it destroyed.
    So what if Azata goes bankrupt. They were fully aware of the international objections right from the start but went ahead. There’ll be plenty of smaller companies willing to pick up the pieces and clear out the crooks who run it.

  7. Postcript to my previous comments – I assume that the demolition contract will not go to Azata? If it does then there’s surely no hope of extricationg Spain from this sticky web of corruption.

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