Officials from the regional ministry for Infrastructures have been denied access to six privately owned chalets due for demolition on the island of Tabarca, a few kilometres offshore from Santa Pola, by a court in Alicante.
The six chalets have been declared illegal by the Supreme Court, and as a result the regional government of the Comunitat Valenciana finally attempted to begin the demolition process on 13th January after a delay which has lasted for years. But they were prevented from doing so by the owners, and on 21st January the court decreed that any incident arising during demolition should be taken to the Higher Court of Justice of the Comunitat Valenciana.
The promoter of the chalets in question was none other than the former Mayor of Santa Pola, Pascual Orts, who claims that the owners are willing to negotiate a fair solution with the regional government.
According to Sr Orts the Department of Costas allowed the houses to be built, and the Town Hall of Alicante has not issued a demolition licence. Furthermore, he alleges that the easement on the island affects other buildings as well as the chalets, and he adds that it is unreasonable and “senseless” on the part of the regional government to expect owners to pay for the demolition of their own property against their wishes.
Many property owners who purchased properties which breached the laws laid down by the Ley de Costas and were illegally close to the beach have found themselves in a similar situation, and although amendments to the Lay de Costas last year allowed many property owners to retain the use of their properties for longer, demolition orders already issued still apply.
It is normal practice for the owners of these properties to not only be issued with a bill for the demolition of their property, but also for the lorries with which the rubble is carted away, plus the costs of “returning the area to its original condition”.
Image: The more public face of Tabarca island
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