A Greenpeace boat protesting in front of the hotel. :: SUR
The future of the enormous and controversial hotel, which is situated in a protected coastal zone in Almeria province, is once again uncertain.
This time the Andalusian high courts have ruled in favour of an appeal brought by the hotel’s developer, Azata del Sol, and declared that the land on which the hotel is situated, in an area which falls within the boundaries of the Cabo de Gata national park, is zoned for building and was classified as such in the planning regulations concerning the park set out in 1994.
The same courts ruled in 2012 - in an appeal by Greenpeace against a previous ruling - that the land, in an area known as El Algarrobico, close to Carboneras, ought to be classified as not suitable for building development and the area should be given special protection.
It was expected, following the 2012 decision, that the hotel would be demolished. That looks doubtful now although the Junta de Andalucía and Greenpeace, Ecologistas en Acción and Salvemos Mojácar have announced plans to appeal this new decision.
Greenpeace’s reaction to this latest blow, considered a “major surprise”, was to declare that “it is not normal procedure for the same court that condemned the hotel as illegal to now ignore that ruling”. The group and others are concerned that the developers will now be able to go ahead with plans to build 250 homes and a golf course besides the 411 room hotel.
José Rodríguez, president of developers Azata, believes that the courts have acknowledged that his company bought the land legitimately. The mayor of Carboneras has congratulated the court decision, saying that it coincides “with the interests of our town”.