21 Mar, 2013 @ 12:41
2 mins read

Hotel hell for Estepona residents

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A COMMUNITY of expats is fighting the construction of a six-storey hotel built just 20 metres from the beach.

The EU is now investigating the macro-project that dwarfs over the previous Hotel Santa Marta, which was a low-rise bungalow resort.

Despite the 1988 Coastal Law, planners in Estepona have allowed the mammoth 160 room project to go ahead, even though it towers over a dozen neighbouring villas.

Following complaints from several residents, a town hall technician visited the site in January but is still yet to finish a report on the building.

“I think they are just delaying the report until it is too late and there are six floors already built,” said one resident, who asked not to be named for fear of repercussion.

Other residents of the Benamara urbanisation say they have been forced to ‘live on a building site for four years’, suffering from dust, noise and air pollution every single day.

“The dirt and the noise is just horrible, they’ve taken a plot between what was once such a quiet residential area,” said one British expat.

“It’s just not suitable for the area at all, it looks like something from the centre of Madrid!” she added.

Another elderly home-owner – also English – complained that her privacy has been completely abused by the closeness of the new building.

“I have had to evacuate my bedroom because I could literally touch the hotel wall from my terrace,” said the 80-year old resident.

The original Hotel Santa Marta was a low-key beach resort, which had several hundred protected trees, the majority uprooted.

But according to the group over 130 of them were protected oaks and should not have been touched.

“I think there are four or five of those trees now left,” slammed one local.

But they have refused to give up hope and after construction work began in 2008, campaigners applied to the European Parliament who, in 2009, accepted the petition as an ‘environmental case’ for investigation.

They insist that planning rules only permit two-storey buildings on the plot and that the project violates the 1988 Coastal Law.

The law dictates that any area within 100 metres of the beach is public and not suitable for private development.


The new hotel ends approximately 20 metres from the beach, replacing what was once a small single-storey chiringuito.

“There are seven five-star hotels in the area already and several bankrupt hotels which are already built, it would have been much cheaper to buy one of these,” said one of the campaigners.

Some of the community have already accepted that the hotel will go-ahead, but many still battle on in hope of recreating the outcome of Almeria’s Algarrobico hotel.

“There are plenty of similarities with the Algarrobico,” said one. “The fact that these arrogant planners and constructors think they can simply ride roughshod over everyone and break the rules is incredible.”

Last year the eyesore in Almeria finally received demolition orders for breaching the coastal law following years of campaigns from Greenpeace and other green groups.


  1. “arrogant planners and constructors think they can simply ride roughshod over everyone and break the rules is incredible.”

    … and arrogant town halls, architects, lawyers, the list is endless. Chiringuito to six storey hotel – only in Spain lol.

  2. Fred, for once I agree with you. Makes me wonder if Rajoy and his team will ever tumble to the conclusion that this is a prime example of what is wrong in the construction sector. And who is stupid enough to buy in such a regime?.

    Only yesterday Rajoy declared that “todo va bien en España”. Yeah, right.

  3. I’m glad we agree Amparo, this country seriously needs fixing. Meanwhile, Spain pursues people to demolish their retrospectively illegal houses, refuses homeless people the right to rebuild their homes destroyed by fire and even continues to evict people who default just one month on their mortgage. Spain must really hate its people to treat them like this.

  4. Blimming heck Fred.. Sorry mate, not having a go, but it must be a real DRAG being in your ‘negative nancy’ world.

    Does anyone know of anyone who’s been EVICTED for missing just ONE mortgage payment, even though they talk to their bank about it? Be interesting to know of one actual case from someone this has happened to. Anyone could go overdrawn without realising and this happen to them if this is true. EVICTED for just ONE month not able to pay if over their bank limit.

    Are they refusing the right to rebuild homes after fires just because of planning legislations etc. Be interesting to know, & hope that people get sorted asap if this has happened to them!

    Viva España?

  5. @Mr P, why don’t you go and talk to the poor lady in the article who has a six storey carbuncle overlooking her house and ask her if she is ‘being negative’? Would you be positive if a six storey building was erected in front of our house? No, I thought not.

    There have been numerous stories in the papers about evictions. The elderly and families with children have been affected. And yes, one month is the period of non-payment when your mortgage company can start eviction proceedings, and indeed they have in reported cases (it used to be longer but it was reduced, lovely.) Four people have committed suicide so far – why didn’t their banks help them?

    You need to live in the real world and take off the rose-tinted spectacles that are so obviously superglued to your eyeballs lol. It’s getting boring constantly having to educate you btw.

  6. YAWN! Of course this specific story is bad Fred you plonker. I am in the real world just not your twisted doomsaying version of it!

    Now find me a story of an actual case of EVICTION after just ONE missed payment.

  7. Fred, as far as I can see you can set up a forbearance plan with the bank and as long as you stay in touch and resume payments you’ll be ok. Not a straight EVICTION like you made out.

    Otherwise yes, eviction proceedings will commence like they do anywhere in the world.

    You make everything sound like an apocalypse! Although it probably is in your mind…

  8. @Mr P, I’m not your research assistant; go and search yourself for articles. I can’t help it if you don’t do your research properly can I?

    Fact of the matter is that people have been evicted, and the EU have very recently ruled that Spain’s actions are (once again) illegal. Why would the EU even rule on this issue if it wasn’t a problem? That’s not doomsaying, it’s just the real world that you clearly don’t inhabit lol.

  9. It’s YOU Fred that should do research before making over the top statements. (Mentioning suicide was a cheap shot – This is a problem all over when times are hard). I’ll let you carry on putting down as many contributers on this website as you can.

    Let’s hope these Estepona residents keep fighting and get some kind of justice.

  10. @Mr P, I don’t need to do more research when these stories have already been published in numerous papers and are easy to find online in seconds – just search the Spanish press. How is that putting you down? This is a Spanish blog about Spain, not places “all over”.

  11. Well well you expats,heare we go again another Hotel we pull down. This Hotel would have employed at least 250 peopel,not includet the suplier,s. And this Jobs in the Hotel Industry are mainly for the jung generation;But her we go, ther are more peopel on the doll then ever before and then I have to listen to expats old dreams. That you are the peopel who put
    the spanish in payment problems, you are not discussing.
    That the country is in a mess you can look to the left and not to the right. The joung peopel should demonstrad and fight for ther working rights, then investors can only do so much.

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