27 Aug, 2020 @ 12:58
1 min read

Benidorm official says €130 million demolition bill for illegal towers on Spain’s Costa Blanca is ‘not in the public interest’

Benidorm Towers Photo One

A SENIOR Benidorm council official has said that the demolition bill for the illegally-built ‘Gemelos 28’ tower blocks in Punta Llisera ‘would be very difficult to justify to the public’.

A report from municipal secretary, Esteban Capdepon, described the described the estimated €130 million expense as ‘useless’ and that there would be ‘nothing to stop the towers then being rebuilt a few metres away.’

The bill is the financial concern of the Valencian Government which allowed the blocks to be built on protected coastal land.

Last December, the Valencian Anti-Fraud agency said it was looking at ‘opening a preliminary file’ on the matter.

The huge demolition costs come from the work needing to be done floor-by-floor to limit environmental damage.

There is also the issue of compensation for the apartment owners, which could amount to around €30 million of the total figure quoted by the Benidorm secretary.

The two 22-storey blocks featuring 168 luxury apartments were built in 2005 and approved by the regional government which was run at the time by the Partido Popular.

The Valencian High Court ruled in 2012 that the government had allowed the illegal encroachment by several metres onto a protected right-of-way, which broke Spain´s strict coastal laws.

They ordered the blocks to be pulled down, and their verdict was endorsed by the Valencian Supreme Court in 2018.

Current Valencian president, Ximo Puig, blamed the whole affair on the ‘irrational actions of the former PP administration’.

The person who rubber-stamped the project was the Infrastructure Minister, Isabel Bonig, who has led the PP in the Valencian parliament since 2015.

The issue of how to proceed with the demolition went to arbitration last year, with talks breaking down in July without any agreement.

Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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