SANTA POLA council has been told to sort out an ‘uncontrolled rise in tourist apartments’ which is raising rental costs and allegedly forcing younger people out of the municipality.

The Mes Santa Pola political party wants the Partido Popular-run authority to become ‘aware of the problem’ and to regulate the number of holiday apartments.

It claims a big increase in tourist accommodation is pumping up rental prices and younger residents are moving elsewhere- especially to neighbouring Elche- to pay lower rents.

Mes Santa Pola councillor Esteve Ruiz said: “Santa Pola is expelling its youth and is becoming, little by little, a theme park for tourists in a city that’s losing its identity.”

“In the long term, we face an economic disaster if we do nothing,” Ruiz warned.

Mes Santa Pola says there are over 1,500 active tourist apartments and that doesn’t include ‘traditional’ home and villa-based property rentals covering the summer or other holiday periods.

“Renting a flat all year round in Santa Pola was already complicated before, but now that we have 1,500 ‘mini hotels’, it is almost impossible as we rank among among municipalities that have had the biggest rental price rises in the country,” the party said in a statement.

It’s called on the council to use its powers over the granting of tourist apartment licences and that the serious situation warranted putting aside any political differences.

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