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RUI Oliva Beach, Corralejo
#51
and a further article

Radio Sintonia:

MITECO declares the expiry of the Oliva Beach concession
Non-compliance with both the Coastal regulations and the conditions established in the concession title was detected.

The Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO) has issued a statement this afternoon informing that it has declared the expiration of the concession of the Oliva Beach hotel complex and apartments, located in the maritime-terrestrial public domain in the Dunes of Corralejo, Fuerteventura, after detecting repeated breaches by the company Geafond, holder of a concession granted in accordance with the transitory regime of the Coastal Law on the hotel complex. This concession was granted in 2003 to compensate for the loss of a pre-existing property to the demarcation of the maritime-terrestrial public domain (DPMT).



In March 2022, the disciplinary proceedings initiated against Geafond for non-compliance with the Costas regulations and the conditions of that concession were resolved. A fine of €204,000 was imposed and the illegal works were ordered demolished. The company did neither. The decision was appealed through administrative channels and the decision rejecting the administrative appeal was challenged before the National High Court. The appeal is pending.

The company's breaches are the carrying out of works not covered by the concession title, the existence of uses not foreseen by the concession title and the failure to comply with the condition of dedicating part of the concession area (18,000 square meters) to public use, which is a violation of both the coastal regulations and the specific conditions of this concession.

The same breaches that gave rise to the penalty, and independently of it, constitute grounds for the revocation of the concession. Therefore, on 5 July 2022, the procedure for the revocation of the concession was initiated, as required by the rules on costs.

Throughout the processing of the revocation file, several hearing procedures have been given to all interested parties (environmental associations, workers' organizations, registered owners of several apartments unrelated to Geafond, Geafond itself...).

CHRONOLOGY

On July 7, 2023, the Public Works Council issued a favorable opinion on the proposal, concluding that the declaration of expiration of the concession title is appropriate.

On July 19, 2023, the State Attorney's Office reported favorably on the proposed resolution of expiration.

On September 20, 2023, the expiry file was sent to the Council of State for its mandatory opinion. On 10 October, the Council of State returned the file for the completion of some formalities, which were carried out, after which the file was sent back to the supreme advisory body on 4 December 2023.

On February 15, 2024, the Council of State issued a ruling that the concession should be declared null and void.

On February 27, 2024, the expiry file of the Oliva Beach Hotel and Apartments complex was concluded, with the Secretary of State for the Environment, Hugo Morán, declaring the expiration of the concession.

CONSEQUENCES OF THE RESOLUTION

In the resolution of revocation, in accordance with what was indicated by the Council of State, the obligation of the concessionaire company to remove the facilities from the maritime-terrestrial public domain at its own expense is established, suspending however the demolition of the part of the complex occupied by the apartments, while the legal situation of the 20 registered owners of these apartments who did not have the opportunity to request the compensatory concession is clarified.

COMPETENCE OF THE STATE

As stated in the favourable opinion issued by the Council of State on 15 February, the competence to decide on concessions of the transitional regime lies with the State; it has not been transferred to any of the Autonomous Communities that have assumed functions related to the titles of occupation of the maritime-terrestrial public domain (Canary Islands, Catalonia, Andalusia and the Balearic Islands).
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#52
Meanwhile ......

Noticias:

Ben Magec "celebrates" the expiry of the concession and the order to demolish the Riu Oliva Beach hotel.

The environmental group affirms that "its fight is not against RIU or against progress" in the face of the possible demolition that will leave 400 people on the island unemployed


The environmental association Ben Magec - Ecologists in Action, celebrates in a press release the possible demolition of the Oliva Beach hotel that employs 400 people in the north of Fuerteventura.



According to a press release and contrary to the Majorera and Canary Islands administrations, "this resolution is the result of the repeated breaches by the hotel chain of requirements clearly established in the concession. Among them, illegal constructions that we denounced in 2020, such as a roundabout between the hotel and the apartments, an access road and the fencing and enclosure of public areas. The Ministry for Ecological Transition fined RIU €204,000 for a serious infringement in 2022 and ordered them to demolish the buildings, an order that they of course failed to comply with and the concession expiry proceedings were then initiated.



Where the Canarian authorities see progress and pioneering activity, Ben Magec warns of "unacceptable recognitions", recalling that "in August last year, the government formed by the Canary Islands Coalition and the Popular Party, led by Fernando Clavijo (CC) awarded the Canary Islands Tourism Award to the RIU Oliva Beach hotel, describing it as "a pioneer in the opening of the Canary Islands to the European tourist market, with a factor of dynamization and modernity in the Archipelago" and defending that the hotel has contributed to the "development of local employment and the wealth of the Island".

"An unacceptable recognition that we publicly denounce and that was granted to an establishment that does not comply with the law, that occupies a public space and that also participates in the deterioration of the protected natural environments of the islands, promoting mass tourism that preys on our territory, that makes private use of our coasts and that also degrades them by going over any regulation or protection."



Ben Magec's environmentalists say that their fight is not against RIU, nor is it against employment and it is not against progress. Our struggle is in defense of the territory and against those who, hiding behind the creation of employment, make private use of our coasts and our protected areas, bypassing the law and perpetuating an absolutely predatory tourism model that consumes our territory and makes our people precarious."
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#53
and.....

Noticias:

Blas Acosta describes the decision to demolish the Oliva Beach as an outrage and persecution.

It stresses that the Canary Islands should not accept tutelage over what is within our competence


The Secretary General of the PSC PSOE of Fuerteventura, Blas Acosta, expresses his strongest protest against the decision of the Ministry of Ecological Transition to expire the concession of the Hotel Oliva Beach and order its demolition, and describes the agreement as an outrage and persecution, urging the Government of the Canary Islands to defend the competences in this matter of our Autonomous Community against those who want to protect us.


"We cannot allow them to decide for us and to the detriment of our economy and the employment of our people," says Blas Acosta, who urges action from all the public administrations of the Canary Islands against this decision, and urges the Government of the Canary Islands to defend the competences of the Autonomous Community as far as necessary, for example the administrative litigation of competences.


Blas Acosta points out that we are facing an important conflict of competences, which have already been transferred and are clearly included in our Statute of Autonomy, and if the competences are Canary Islands we will have to defend them, and therefore I urge President Clavijo to file an appeal against the resolution of the Ministry of Ecological Transition signed by the Secretary of State, Hugo Morán.


Likewise, the Secretary General of the PSOE majorero stresses that he has full confidence in the Bilateral Commission composed of the Ministry of Territorial Policy led by Ángel Victor Torres with the Government of the Canary Islands since this is the forum in which this matter can be defined and resolved once and for all.
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#54
well it's kept the journalists busy today ....

Noticias:

The Canary Islands will appeal to the Constitutional Court to defend the powers of Costas.

For the President of the Government of the Canary Islands, he affirms that this is a disproportionate measure that invades the competences of the Statute



The Government of the Canary Islands will go to the Constitutional Court if necessary after learning of the decision of the Ministry for Ecological Transition to declare the expiry of the concession granted to the RIU Oliva Beach hotel, located in Fuerteventura, as well as to the annexed apartments and thus ordering the demolition of part of the hotel complex. In this sense, the president of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo, has stated that with this he believes that "the competences of the Statute of Autonomy of the Canary Islands are being invaded because we believe that the Government of the Canary Islands is the competent one and the measure seems disproportionate to us".



In this way, Clavijo stressed that the most important thing about this resolution is that "our competences are being invaded", he told the media on Thursday during his visit to Trib-arte (Cultural and Social Association). Likewise, in his speech he assured that he has already had a telephone conversation with Minister Teresa Ribera, and that now each one "has to defend what they believe in and, in this case, we are going to express our disagreement and if we see it necessary we will go to the Constitutional Court for a conflict of competences".

"We understand that the Ministry is not competent to make that decision, the Government of the Canary Islands is competent and Costas is competent", Fernando Clavijo has been categorical. With all this, the main conflict that will be resolved as soon as possible will be, in the first place, to resolve whether it is the Government of the Canary Islands or the Ministry that has the power to decide on this matter with the aim of "recovering the expiration of the administrative concession and recovering the public domain".



Finally, with regard to the Canary Islands-State Bilateral Commission, Clavijo insisted that the Minister of Territorial Policy, Ángel Víctor Torres, is the one who "is not being precise with the truth" because the celebration is still without a scheduled date. "If I had said that the date is the X day, I understand that I would have been untruthful... but the reality is that we don't have a date," said Fernando Clavijo, explaining that the day has been requested for more than a month. Likewise, he also admitted to understanding that in this case Torres "feels alluded to by the statements or by the control session" but that he is the one who is really not being "precise" with the truth because there is no date on which it will be held.
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#55
What is others take on this?

I read it as the order for demolition applies to some extensions, alteration and apartments that were not covered by the original planning permission and for which they didn't have subsequent planning, it is not the demolition of the whole hotel.
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#56
We stayed there in 1979, and the section to the North of the main building was not there, so I am assuming that that is what is to be demolished? { Having said that there was talk back then of the main hotel being demolished as it contradicted some planning rules. }
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#57
(01-03-2024, 10:52 AM)windermeregolfer Wrote: What is others take on this?

I read it as the order for demolition applies to some extensions, alteration and apartments that were not covered by the original planning permission and for which they didn't have subsequent planning, it is not the demolition of the whole hotel.

I think it is the opposite, at present. They are more interested in demolishing the big hotel.

From  Tourinews:

The apartments are saved, for now

The demolition order does not include the apartments located within the complex, whose ownership is not solely held by RIU - another of the unfulfilled conditions of the concession - since some were sold to third parties. The Ministry suspends the demolition of the part of the complex occupied by the apartments, "while the legal situation of the 20 registered owners of these apartments who did not have the opportunity to request the compensatory concession is clarified."
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#58
Noticias:

Riu promises battle.

The hotel chain will resort to "all legal channels" to prevent the demolition of the Oliva Beach hotel

The Mallorcan hotel company defends that the resolution of the Ministry of Ecological Transition is based on a non-binding opinion of a consultative body such as the Council of State



RIU Hotels & Resorts, the chain that manages the Oliva Beach Resort hotel in Corralejo (Fuerteventura), has announced that it will resort to "all legal channels" at its disposal to prevent the demolition of the establishment, ordered by the Ministry of Ecological Transition last Tuesday after resolving the "expiration" of the concession of the complex, located on maritime-terrestrial public domain land. as well as the "lifting and removal" of existing facilities.

Verified sources from the Mallorcan hotel company have indicated to Tourinews that the opinion of the Council of State, on which the Ministry relies to issue its resolution, is "a non-binding report issued by an advisory body".



In this way, the company assures that it will continue to defend its rights and legitimate interests, as well as those of its workers, "until the end", resorting to "all legal channels" that are within their reach. "We always have the rule of law and we trust that justice will be done in the courts," the sources said.
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#59
Radio Sintonia:

The Canary Islands initiate legal proceedings for the defence of exclusive competences in matters of Coasts.

The Government Council of the Canary Islands, at the request of the Ministry of Public Works, Housing and Mobility, has agreed, during the session held this morning, to initiate a legal procedure to claim from the State the exclusive competences of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands in matters of Coasts.

In this sense, the Executive considers that the archipelago, in accordance with the provisions of article 157 of the Statute of Autonomy of the Canary Islands, has exclusive competence in matters of coastal planning, respecting the general regime of the public domain. This includes the management of the titles of occupation of the maritime-terrestrial public domain, including all concessions over said space, without any distinction and without legal reservation of competences to the General State Administration in this matter.

The Canary Islands Government does not recognise the legal competence of the Ministry for Ecological Transition to issue the resolution of 27 February 2024, declaring the expiry of the concession granted by Ministerial Order to the commercial entity Geafond Número Uno Lanzarote, S.A.

The Autonomous Community requests to act, in the same way, in any other file regarding the management of the titles of occupation and use of the maritime-terrestrial public domain, especially in the granting of authorizations and concessions.

It also reiterates its willingness to discuss and resolve any discrepancies and differences that the General State Administration may have regarding the competences of the Autonomous Community in matters of coastal planning and management within the Canary Islands-State Bilateral Cooperation Commission, provided for in Article 192 of the Statute of Autonomy of the Canary Islands.
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#60
Radio Sintonia:

RIU considers the measure of the Ministry of Ecological Transition on the Oliva Beach as 'arbitrary and unfounded'.

In a statement sent to Radio Sintonía, the Riu channel considers that the decision of the Ministry of Ecological Transition to force the expiry of the concession of the Riu Oliva Beach hotel, on the island of Fuerteventura, is an action 'arbitrary and without arguments' and confirms that it will defend its legitimate rights against what it considers a hostile strategy of this department of the central government.

The company points out that the ministerial decision lacks valid arguments and is part of a premeditated strategy and states that the Mallorcan chain considers that there is evidence that shows that the strategy of the Ministry of Ecological Transition is premeditated since it has sought from the beginning to produce the expiration of a concession in force for the use of hotel facilities that remained in the public domain and, With this, the closure of a facility that has always carried out its activity in full legal conditions and with full respect for the regulations regarding the legislation that regulates the management of the coast, as well as in any other urban and environmental consideration.

Part of the strategy of the Ministry of Ecological Transition has focused on arguing the commission of infringements by RIU, but the hotel company underlines its history of respecting the regulations and distances itself from any infringement that is imputed to it.

RIU assures that the resolution of the aforementioned central government department is based on false, disproportionate and incomplete arguments and distorts the physical reality of the property, object of the concession: in no case is it true that more space of public domain has been occupied than that referred to in the scope of the concession, as argued in the file opened by the Ministry of Ecological Transition. In the same way, it assures that it is false that there are unauthorized uses within the scope of the concession, since all those cited in the file, as is the case of the bazaar, are consolidated complementary uses and absolutely habitual in the hotel facility. In addition, it tenaciously confirms that it is not true that works have been carried out without authorisation within the scope of the concession. Likewise, it recalls that, after the transfer of the competences of Costas to the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands, the body does not have competence legitimacy.

The hotelier considers that 'the attitude of the Ministry of Ecological Transition is scandalous and that it is the culmination of a premeditated strategy, which started in 2018 with a clear objective: to force the expiry of the concession. RIU argues that this decision was predetermined in advance and that the necessary arguments have been sought subsequently, there being a clear manipulation of the facts'.

'Manipulation of facts by the Ministry and obstruction of hotel improvements':

On the other hand, the chain denounces that the aforementioned department of the central government has hindered any action by RIU to, always in full compliance with the regulations, improve the hotel's facilities; delaying for years the resolution on the authorisation of the works requested and subsequently challenging the authorisation granted by the Government of the Canary Islands, once the competences of Costas had been transferred. The company even tries to annul the concession with an ex officio review that ended up being shelved due to lack of support from the State Attorney's Office.

The revocation process for infringements in the concession, which RIU considers bulky and manipulated, initiated by the Ministry of Ecological Transition has been taken with a speed that suggests a deliberate interest, criticises RIU, and recalls that to do so it has had to defy its own acts, such as the transfer of the powers of Costas to the Government of the Canary Islands.

On the other hand, RIU firmly believes that the central government department has not assessed the consequences of its attitude and decision for the general interest of the island of Fuerteventura, as the possible closure of the Riu Oliva Beach hotel would have serious economic and social implications.

Potential economic and social damage to the island of Fuerteventura due to the possible closure of the hotel: An establishment with 52 years of history

The establishment was built in 1972 in the municipality of La Oliva, in the north of Fuerteventura and became a hotel of the RIU chain in 1995. The Oliva Beach not only played a transcendental role in the development of Fuerteventura, creating hundreds of jobs, providing training and generating wealth for the population of the towns and villages of the island, but it also managed to open the way becoming a benchmark for international tourism, leading the image of excellence of the destination Fuerteventura and the Canary Islands in the world. To this day, the hotel continues to have a great relevance for the society of the municipality of La Oliva and the entire island of Fuerteventura, creating 600 jobs, directly or indirectly.

These are jobs that are now at risk due to the unfounded claims of the Ministry of Ecological Transition, the company criticizes; to which must be added the undoubted damage that the closure of the hotel would produce on the productive fabric of the north of Fuerteventura. As a point of reference, the chain would like to highlight that only the customers of the Riu Oliva Beach and its neighbour Riu Palace Tres Islas maintain the movement of 1.5 planes per day bound for the island of Fuerteventura, with an economic impact of 13.6 million euros per year in turnover for the island of Fuerteventura, according to official data collected by the City Council of La Oliva. However, the real economic impact for the island of Fuerteventura exceeds 27 million euros if we add the expenditure in the destination made by the hotel's guests throughout the year.

RIU will defend your rights in all legal proceedings that are opened from now on:

The RIU chain, a company with an impeccable reputation with 97 hotels open in 21 countries around the world, denounces that it feels a victim of this attitude of the Ministry of Ecological Transition, and insists on defending their rights, not only for its business interest but also, and above all, for the sustained commitment to its workers. with its suppliers and with the island of Fuerteventura as a whole; that through their institutions and the political parties represented in them, as well as the economic and social agents, businessmen and unions, have already shown unwavering support for the future of Oliva Beach.



Finally, and with regard to the complaint filed by RIU against the three senior ministerial officials related to the processing of the files for the review, sanction and expiry of the hotel's concession, the chain considers that it was a necessary action for the defence of its legitimate rights, and recalls that its admission to processing was defended to the end by the different prosecutors who participated in the case.

Finally, RIU Hotels & Resorts affirms that it respects and trusts in the rule of law, it will defend itself in all the legal proceedings that are opened from now on, which it understands will take away the reason of the Ministry for Ecological Transition.
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