PILAR de la Horadada council has reached an “out of court” deal to use €3 million of public money to pay compensation over an infamous and incompleted cultural centre.

The southern Costa Blanca authority will compensate two companies, Urdemasa and Intersa, over La Paloma(The Dove) to stop fresh legal action being taken against them over the “white elephant” building.

La Paloma, which stands next to the rambla on the northern edge of the Pilar town centre, was once described as the “shame of the town”.

It became a nationally-reported tribute to the massive overspending of Spanish councils during the pre-recession boom time.

Work on La Paloma stopped in 2006 due to the costs ballooning from over €2 million to €12 million.

The Supreme Court ruled in February that Pilar council would have to pay €2.7 million in compensation for lost revenues from an unused underground car park at the incompleted site.

Urdemasa and Intersa were also going to court to claim an additional €1.2 million over the building, but a €3 million overall deal has been struck with the council which will save around €1 million being taken out of local coffers.

Pilar’s Partido Popular(PP) mayor, Jose Maria Perez Sanchez, announced in June that he would set up an all-party to investigate all aspects of the La Paloma affair over the last 19 years.

Both the PP and the socialist PSOE have controlled Pilar council since 2000.

Plans were unveiled this year for a new cultural area to be built on Avenida Lo Alegre including a music centre and a 600-seat auditorium, leaving unanswered questions as to the future, if any, of La Paloma.

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