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Royal Palm Hotel

The Prosecutor's Office requests the demolition of the Royal Palm Hotel, built in the Coastal Protection Zone.

  • It requests to impose more than 24 years in prison on the 10 accused for crimes of urban prevarication and illegal construction by the hotel, built next to the beach of Esquinzo.
The Prosecutor's Office requests the demolition of the Royal Palm Hotel, "illegally built" in an area of coastal protection easement in the Esquinzo area, on the coast of the municipality of Pájara.

In addition, it demands that the Justice impose a total of 24 years and four months in prison on the 10 defendants, with sentences ranging from one year to six months in prison and four years of deprivation of liberty. 80 years of disqualification for employment or public office in the local administration and four years of professional disqualification for the architect are also requested.
Likewise, the Public Prosecutor's Office requests the suspension of activity of the promoter, Canarias Turística 2000 SL, of the Di Meglio family, and an economic sanction of 288,000 euros. The company is also directly accused in the criminal case, which is being investigated in the Court of First Instance and Instruction number one of Puerto del Rosario and which is on its way to trial.
In the indictment of the Prosecutor's Office, to which Diario de Fuerteventura has had access, three crimes of continuous urban prevarication, two more crimes of urban prevarication and one crime of illegal construction are detailed.
The former mayor and current councilor Rafael Perdomo, for whom the Prosecutor's Office asks for four years in prison and 10 years of disqualification, is considered the author of a crime of continuous urban prevarication and co-author of two others.
The hotel's architect, Miguel Cabrera, is also facing a request for a four-year prison sentence, while the company's agent, Héctor Ruiz Verona, is asked for three years in prison, the same sentence he urges for the municipal architect, José María Fernández Muñoz.
The other defendants are a municipal worker, Silvia García Calleja, and councilors who participated in the granting of licenses considered illegal by the Prosecutor's Office, including the current mayor Farés Sosa and the now regional deputy of the PSOE, Rosa Bella Cabrera. The rest of the accused councilors are Jordani Cabrera, Diego Bernardo Perera and Antonio González Cabrera.
The hotel was built, between 2009 and 2015, on a plot of 50,000 square meters on the first line, next to the beach of Butihondo. Since the Coastal Law came into force in July 1988, "the width of the easement for the protection of the maritime land public domain is 100 meters and, consequently, in no case is the construction of the hotel authorized," the Prosecutor's Office emphasizes. In that occupied strip of the Coastal Protection Zone, four large buildings were built for accommodation, as well as swimming pools.
The irregularities pointed out by the Prosecutor's Office go further: "The plot [where the Royal Palm was built] does not have nor has never had buildability assigned by a valid and current urban plan, that is, there is not and has not been the possibility of making any hotel."
In 1983 the plot was classified as unscheduled developable land, with the conditions of rustic land. The Esquinzo-Butihondo partial plan of 1989 included the land as a "liberated area of buildability for the protection of the marine environment", and in the revision of the General Plan of Pájara of that year it was contemplated in a similar way.
The municipal planning of 1998 did attribute buildability to the plot, but this rule was never published in the official gazette "and, therefore, never entered into force." "In any case," adds the Environment Prosecutor, Clara Serrano Pardá, that General Plan of Pájara was annulled in 2002 and since then the planning of 1989 is back in force.
Quote:"The plot does not have nor has never had buildability assigned by a valid plan"
The origins of the hotel date back to May 1999, when the City Council of Pájara granted the license requested by the businessman Giuseppe di Meglio for the hotel, which would have an execution budget of 17.7 million euros.
In May 2003, the company's agent, Héctor Ruiz Verona, requested an extension. Four years later, it requests that the extension be confirmed by administrative silence.
A lawyer from Pájara reported that it was obligatory to carry out a file of expiration of the license because the law provided for an inexcusable period of three years for the start of the works, which had not begun, and a maximum period of 10 years for the total execution. However, the Governing Board of October 2007, "ignoring" the legal report, refused to expire the license and gave 10 years of term for the works.
In February 2008, the municipal architect, now accused, issued an unfavorable report at the start of the works. He argues that the plot lacked buildability and that it could not be built on it, and warned of the lack of authorizations, among others the use and construction in the area of coastal protection easement.
The following month, the jurist apostilles that the license had to be revoked because the General Plan of 1998 with which it had been authorized, which "had never been published, had been annulled". Shortly after, in June, the architect of Pájara changes his criteria and issues a favorable report at the beginning of the works, "with full knowledge" that "they were illegal," highlights the prosecutor. In its opinion, it raises the hotel's budget to 35.8 million euros.
Without authorization from Costas

The Prosecutor's Office highlights that the promoter company "did not obtain and did not even request the authorization" of the Government of the Canary Islands "for the construction of the hotel that fully affects the area of protection easement", whose width is 100 meters. Despite this, in October 2008, the then mayor Rafael Perdomo assumed the powers of the Governing Board and authorized the start of the works.
The company of the Di Meglio family would again ask for more extensions to complete them: in December 2012 and in April 2014. The hotel was not completed until July 2015. The prosecutor stresses that the urban planning legislation only allows an extension and, in this case, the original license was illegal, "since it is the plot on which the hotel is located in an area free of buildability." In the accounts of 2019, before the pandemic, it declared revenues of 13.1 million euros and the previous year 17.8 million.

link to original article showing Costas demarcation
Living my dream
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