Grand plans for Spanish Manhattan in Torrevieja falter

Legal blow to mega project

by Lorraine Williamson
Torrevieja

The municipality of Torrevieja, in the province of Alicante, is governed by the conservative Partido Popular (PP). This party previously defended the initiative for the construction of tourist apartments and hotels on the coast. The entire city council of Torrevieja approved the plan for the tall towers. Despite an unfavourable report from the Alicante Provincial Coast Agency”, according to sources consulted by El País.

Since the two court rulings, one by the Supreme Court and the other by the Supreme Court of the Valencian Community, which annulled the projects, the PP has been trying to circumvent the debate on the future of the ambitious high-rise projects by the sea in the centre of the city. This is reported by the Spanish news site Huffington Post.

These court rulings declare that the projects are in violation of the current coastal law, la Ley de Costas. One of the rulings came from the Supreme Court, the other from the Supreme Court of Justice of the Valencian Community.

Reports are binding and mandatory

Mayor, Eduardo Dolón (PP), has pointed out that the “unfavourable” reports on the skyscrapers on urban land are “binding and mandatory”. The next ordinary plenary session will focus on the projects to which these rulings relate. These include the Baraka Towers (with two tall towers) and Metrovacesa (with three skyscrapers). The total plan even involves 18 skyscrapers. The rulings directly affect five of the 18 towers. However, they could also affect the remaining 13 buildings that the Torrevieja City Council has planned.

The Case of the Baraka Towers

In the case of the two Baraka Towers, the courts declared the plenary agreement null and void. The body of the Ministry for Ecological Transition believes that the towers projected on urban land limit the field of view and add an undesirable ‘verticality effect’. The towers would have 26 floors and be 82 metres high. In 2021, the municipality of Torrevieja approved the detailed study.

Ley de Costas influences multimillion-dollar investments

The court rulings also establish that Article 30 of the Ley de Costas applies to urban land that was not consolidated before the entry into force of the legislation protecting the coast in 1988. This has consequences for plots where real estate companies have made multimillion-dollar investments for residential buildings and hotels.

Also read: Environmental concerns about the planned large solar park in Torrevieja

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