A violation of human rights in Carboneras

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© Greenpeace
Saga of Spain’s ugliest hotel goes to Strasbourg.

Almeria-based environmentalist group Salvemos Mojacar will bring the notorious case of the Algarrobico Hotel to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg. 

Deemed illegal in 2006 by the Spanish government due to its proximity to the sea, the now infamous construction featured in The Telegraph this year as one of the world’s ugliest hotels. The group, supported by Greenpeace, is acting against an Andalucian High Court edict that the licence itself is legal, though building work cannot be restarted. Located in Carboneras, work began on the hotel in 2003 but attracted the wrath of residents and ecological groups for building within the protected Cabo de Gata national park. 

The ‘white eyesore’ also breaches the Coastal Act which bans building within 100 metres of the shore. A dark, decade long saga of controversy, contradictory court orders and litigation has been an embarrassment for the town, which has been relegated to bystander status as lawyers wrangle over fees and technicalities. 

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Salvemos Mojacar hope that by bringing the case to the ECHR they can help precipitate the hotel’s destruction, pointing to a Greenpeace report that 98 per cent of the hotel was recyclable and could generate 400 jobs, a fitting figure that matches the number of empty rooms dominating the landscape. 

The developer, Azata del Sol, has been the constant target of environmental protests which have seen Greenpeace activists daub ‘Hotel Illegal’ across the building in a show of defiance. 

It is unclear what the legal appeal will achieve but residents will hope that the ongoing soap opera will finally see     closure, even if it takes outside interference. 

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