A LONG-RUNNING impasse over a closed 60 metre stretch of an Orihuela Costa footpath has moved another stage to being solved after it was given authorisation to reopen from the Provincial Coastal Service(Costas).
The Costas responded to a request sent by Orihuela council earlier this year.
The short route linking the Aquamarina path with La Caleta was shut in December 2021 by the council who were forced to act on a court order that gave the right to residents of the Bellavista urbanisation to close it
It meant that walkers had to make a two kilometre detour to get to the beach after six years of access.
Orihuela council will now have to reach an expropriation deal with the Bellavista owners amidst reports the authority have offered them €66,000.
The Informacion newspaper claims the owners want €2 million plus another €1 million for the developer of a plot on the other side of the promenade towards La Caleta.
If no agreement is reached, then a Court of Arbitration will step in but their ruling can be appealed, meaning that its difficult to estimate when the path could reopen.
The Bellavista development was approved in 1990 but Orihuela council at the time did not expropriate the full length of the path, leaving a 60 metre gap.
Residents built a barrier in 2013 to shut off access, but it was taken down two years later by the council.
That in turn led to a legal challenge with the council eventually forced to reinstall it in December 2021
Previous suggestions from Orihuela council of when the path would re-open included last summer and the recently-celebrated Easter holiday period.
A spokesperson for the Cabo Roig and Lomas Neighbourhood Association said: “It would be really unfortunate for local residents if the path remains closed this summer.”