EIA & SEA: Hotel el Algarrobico; What should be done?

Imagen de previsualización de YouTube

This is the hotel of the Algarrobico, a huge construction of 24 plants in the Natural Park of Cabo de Gata-Nijar, in Almeria, Spain. An unfinished work that has been stopped since 2006.

The picture says it all!


Greenpeace, and other Environmental groups, asked the judge to expedite the demolition of the building due to in 2008 a judgment declared void the building permit. However, as the decision is not final, the building can not be finished or demolished.

It is important to highlight that the Environmental Impact Assessment of the project have not been done despite the hotel is located in an Important Community Site.

The developer” Azata del Sol” states that the construction were carried out within the law. They bought the plot that was already qualified as developable land in 2002. In early 2003 they got all the necessary licenses to build it. They even ask the Ministry of Environment who said that he had no competition due to the area was a developable area.

When they were building the hotel, the regulation established that there must be 20 meters distance between the hotel and the sea. However, they decided to begin to build 50 meters away, so everything was legal. The problem began when the government raised a hundred meters the distance that should exist between the hotel and the sea. Although, this change came when the building was nearly done – with the 94% of the building already constructed- the construction was stopped.

The demolition of the Algarrobico can be immediate done if the Board of Andalucia and the Ministry of Environment ask for the provisional execution of the judgment that declared illegal the building permit.

Population want to sue the mayor for disobedience due to the Supreme Court said the land was not developable but the mayor insists to qualify the land as buildable. The mayor says that as the hotel is nearly finished the best thing to do would be open it in order to generate employment and tourism.

Traders want to take advantages from the potential of the Natural Park Cabo de Gata-Nijar, so they want the hotel to be open as it has been build within the law. They states that, as it is already built demolish it would cause even more harm than to open it. Thinking in the Spanish situation, we should not throw the hotel away because it would be a huge waste of resources if we demolished it.  It is also important to highlight that the demolition of the hotel would cost to the citizens around 300 million euros.

If EIA or SEA can help us to find out the most sustainable solution for the problem, I will ask for an answer to this question:

“Should the hotel be demolished or should it be open to the public?”

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