WHEN the residents of the Bahía Bella urbanisation purchased their properties, they all imagined their life thereon would live up to its name. Unfortunately, it does not and looks more precarious by the day.
Bahia Bella is located on the southern edge of Los Alcázares, but lies within the boundary of Cartagena and therein seems to lie the problem.
In Bahía Bella, the residents pay rates of up to €800 a year to Cartagena Town Hall. For this princely sum, they receive nothing in return. There is no refuse collection, no road maintenance, no street lighting, no sewage and there aren’t even any pavements.
The reason for this, according to Cartagena town hall, is because the village lies in a floodplain and is therefore illegal.
However, according to Bill Hulse, who has lived on the urbanisation for more than 13 years, it is only classified as a floodplain because for several years the council has failed to maintain the watercourse which was built to protect the village from flooding.
And Bill is not the only resident that believes the town hall’s refusal to act and therefore not have to fork out any money is due to the council’s own classification of the land the urbanisation is built on.
“Our stretch of the rambla has not been properly cleaned or maintained for several years. The section from the bridge under the N332 to the Mar Menor has not been cleaned at all,” explained Bill. “Recently, there has been some cleaning, which was definitely inadequate, but there has been no maintenance whatsoever.
“The stretch past Las Lomas del Rame, which belongs to Los Alcázares, is a near-perfect example of how a rambla should be kept clear, with well-maintained banks higher on the side facing housing than that overlooking fields,” explained Bill, “Why can’t Cartagena do the same for us?”
The town hall of Los Alcázares has been very busy conditioning the D4 and D7 drainage canals in their area to ensure that a repeat of what happened in November last year when torrential rain completely flooded the town, doesn’t happen again.
And while nobody wants to see Los Alcázares under water, the work on the D4 and D7 drainage canal poses a huge and urgent problem for Bahía Bella.
“The rambla which flows to the west of Los Alcázares and enters our rambla near Fuensanta has very recently been widened, deepened and strengthened to protect Los Alcázares. However, all the extra water will flow into our rambla. If our rambla were properly maintained, it would resolve the problem completely for everybody, but until it is, all the extra water will flood into Bahia Bella,” laments Bill.
The residents of Bahía Bella are stuck and at a loss at what to do. Year after year, they petition to the council, only for their pleas to fall on deaf ears.
Recently, they have received help and support by one member of the town hall, Pilar Marcos, for which they are extremely grateful, yet they urgently need the remainder of the council to recognise how simple it would be to resolve the problem and allow Bahía Bella to develop, thus attracting more residents and increasing revenue not only for the council but for the local area.