IN yet another twist in a case that has been described by the Junta’s Environment boss as a ‘judicial tangle’, the Andalucian high court (TSJA) has ruled the land the the controversial Algarrobico Hotel is built on now belongs to the Junta.
This ruling is contrary to the declaration the TSJA made just a few weeks ago that declared that the land belonged to the local municipality of Carboneras.
The Head of Farming, Fisheries and Environment in Almeria, Jose Manuel Ortiz Bono, commented that the Junta now needed to formalise the deeds of sale, records of occupation and all other paperwork as a matter of urgency.
The TSJA ruled on Tuesday that it was revoking the Plan for the Management Natural Resources (PORN) that came into force in 2008 as it offered a lower level of environmental protection than was originally enforced in in 1994.
It comes after six European environmental agencies, including Greenpeace and Ecologistas en Accion, condemned the TSJA’s previous ruling.
In an emergency session in Sevilla, Maria Jesus Serrano, the Junta’s Environment Minister, commented that the TSJA’s latest ruling was positive and urged for the tangle of confusing rulings be resolved quickly.
It is not yet clear whether the ruling will clear the way for the demolition of the the 411 room, 20-storey-hotel, which was built on a protected beach in the Cabo de Gata natural park.
“The Algarrobico Hotel is an example of what should never have been allowed on the coast” commented Serrano “The Cabo de Gata should be known for its environmental features and not for its urban planning issues”.
There was widespread outcry and protests by local people and environmental groups at the end of March when the TSJA originally ruled that the Algarrobico Hotel was legal and rezoned the land as suitable for building in a shock move.
The TSJA’s ruling will now be considered by the Supreme Court in Madrid.