THE owners of a Javea villa built on Roman land in the era of dictator General Franco have begun a clean up operation to remove rubble and fencing.

It means that the public will be able to fully access the beach area for the first time in almost 60 years.

The Punta de l´Arenal property was built in 1963 on public land acquired by Franco’s finance minister, Mariano Navarro Rubio.

It was just one of many prime pieces of land that Franco cronies bought across Spain from local councils at low prices.

Navarro Rubio’s descendants were ordered by the Provincial Coastal Authority to clear debris from part of the Roman site that the villa was built on but were tardy on executing the work.

The rubble includes collapsed stone walls that were brought down by Storm Gloria in January last year.

Old Roman pools dating back to the first century which were used as fish farms will also be cleared of debris.

One of Navarro Rubio’s grandsons said that the family were cooperating with the Coastal Authority and that the entire beach area will be restored to its natural state.

The work should be finished by the middle of next week.

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