CASTELLON City Hall has launched the administrative process to reopen the chiringuito portable bars on Gurugú and Pinar beaches this summer.

However, the process won’t be plain sailing for the council.

The Sole Rototom, Atlanta, Dharma and La Playa establishments are usually set up from June 1 to September 30, but the final authorisation depends on the regional government.  

In a repeat situation to last year, plans to reopen the chiringuitos clash with an environmental protection plan affecting the whole coast, known as Pativel.

More specifically, the beach bars are said to threaten the local population of an endangered species of bird known as the Kentish Plover.

In addition, the authorities have been working with SEO Bird Life in the launch of several recent campaigns to save the Plover and generally reinforce the natural conservation of the Pinar, Serradal and Gurugú beaches – including a public replanting of 1,570 endemic species of flora at the beginning of March.

Castellon beach bars
Beach bars, or chiringuitos, are a vital part of the summer holidays

The conflict of interests could cause a rift between the ruling PSPV and Podem-EUPV parties, as the spokesman for the latter is in charge of the council department behind the environmental protection drives.

Beach bar owners are obliged by law to abide by a series of regulations.

These include occupying a maximum surface of 150 square metres, using wooden panels that are easy to disassemble and transport, fireproof materials for the open-air terrace areas, and having two portable toilets for each sex with one adapted to disabled users.

The clock is ticking for a summer campaign that is hoped will be better than last year’s, when the COVID pandemic effectively killed off the most profitable time of the year for coastal businesses.

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