Wednesday, 7 February 2024, 17:42
The long-running dispute between traders and the company that manages Marbella’s Puerto Banús marina over their terraces has seen a new development this week when the traders presented, through law firm BGI-LAW, a written statement with a series of allegations with which they intend to contest Puerto Banús S.A. over the issue.
The traders point out that Puerto Banus S. A. "is on the verge of exceeding the 50 years of lease established by law". In addition, it considers that the company has shown “bad faith” by charging for space which has been recognised as public land, “without conforming to the port regulations". Lawyers agree that the land that the terraces occupy “are not included within the agreement granted at the time and that the prices the company charges for traders to rent the land for their terraces are "abusive".
Both Puerto Banús S.A. and Marbella town hall deny that the affected streets are outside the contracted space or that it is public land, as they also claimed in 2019, when 25 premises initiated a lawsuit against the company. According to the traders’ legal team, the arguments state that Puerto Banús S.A. "seeks to extend its dominion over the spaces located on Levante beach, which are currently outside the contract agreed".
Some weeks ago, Ecologistas Malaka put forward their own arguments, among them the one that affects the area of this beach, located in the eastern part of the berthing area.
Both traders and activists argue that this is what is recorded in the Agencia Pública de Puertos de Andalucía (Andalusian public ports agency, APPA), both with regard to the roads and the public area of Levante beach, the result of the demarcation approved by a Ministerial Order of 25 July 2007 and which "has even led to possession recovery proceedings by the Coastal Demarcation, confirmed in court," they explained.
Oscar Gómez, representative of BGI-LAW, acknowledges that "the allegations are very complex”. The statement with all of the allegations is about 40 pages long. He said that "the traders have been in conflict with Puerto Banús S. A. for seven or eight years over the issue of terrace rentals, because it is trying, through a new regulation, to silence all the traders by establishing a regulation to its liking and avoiding judicial control. “This is recognised by Demarcación de Costas,” he added.
So why isn’t the situation resolved? “What we know is that Puerto Banús S.A. wants to take advantage of this to include the beaches. That is why environmentalists like us have said no and this has been recognised in the courts. They cannot appropriate public land without any kind of competition or procedure. They are for the use of the people,” Gómez explains.
Regarding the use of the roads that run through the port land, Gómez acknowledges that "there have been contradictory rulings, but the municipal technicians in the urban planning department have said that they are for public use and in the public domain," says Gómez.
The traders have filed three lawsuits against the company for the annulment of the leases in recent years and the company has brought about 21 eviction proceedings. Some traders have asked the town hall to formally acquire the roads in three different proceedings which are currently going through the courts.
Puerto Banús SA, which was awarded the lease on 12 September 1967 by means of a ministerial order, claims that the area within the contract extends from the River Verde to 400 metres west of the planned western breakwater. It further argues that a 'Acta de reconocimiento final de las obras del Puerto José Banús', (document recognising the end of works to Puerto José Banús) dating back to 16 March 1970, does recognise the area of the Levante beach.
The company also argues that the lease was for 99 years, although this term was revised in Law 2/2013, and Law 22/1988, as well as Royal Decree 876/2014, which approved the regulations of the coastal law, which introduced throughout Spain "very relevant changes", including those affecting the duration of leases.
In 2020, Andalusian regional Law 2/2020 partially reformed the demarcation of law 21/2007, which, according to the company, has returned all the terms and privileges of the lease acquired prior to Law 27/1992 on state ports.
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