Permanent residents want the right to stay on the campsite. / sur

Long-term residents fight for right to stay as Marbella Playa campsite set to close for complete modernisation

At the moment around 30 people live on the site permanently. A lawyer for the group says some of the residents are pensioners or unemployed and clearly vulnerable

JOAQUINA DUEÑAS Marbella

Long-term residents of the Marbella Playa campsite are concerned about their rights after the new owners announced that they are closing it down at the end of September so it can be completely modernised.

At the moment around 30 people live on the site permanently, including couples with school age children, and some have constructed prefabricated buildings alongside their caravans. They believe they should be allowed to stay.

They are hoping they are covered by a law from 1995 under which their buildings, some of which have been there for decades, would be considered permanent structures. The residents insist that if they are forced to leave they want compensation, because the plot on which their caravan stands belongs to the campsite but the buildings are theirs.

The lawyer for this group of residents is Carlos Díaz, who represented others in a similar situation a the Chullera campsite in Manilva 15 years ago. On that occasion an agreement was reached out of court with the campsite owners.

“There are families registered with the town hall as living here and their buildings are well-established. If there is a legal discrepancy, it needs to be resolved” Díaz says.

Evictions

With regard to possible evictions, Díaz says some of the residents are pensioners or unemployed and clearly vulnerable, and that the owners have been “belligerent” and are trying to force them to leave. One resident says only one bathroom is open and there is only one rubbish container for them to use now. Others have said the entrance to the campsite has been locked and they have to ask to be let in.

The owners strongly deny any type of belligerent behaviour and say the changes to services are only because there are fewer people on the campsite now and the facilities provided are adequate. They also say that if one entrance is locked, another one is open.

With regard to the buildings, they say these are not permanent. “They are not buildings as such, although they might look like it. All the accommodation facilities here are mobile, notwithstanding that the previous owners may have permitted the residents to cover them and so they appear to be permanent constructions,” they say.

They also say they are not aware of anybody living on the campsite for decades, in answer to claims by some residents that they have been there for over 30 years.