Ley de Costas gives breathing space to coastal residents with moratorium on demolitions
Update 13 June: Up to 46 coastal areas in the Canaries will benefit from a moratorium approved in a new Ley de Costas and will avoid demolitions, said lawyer and Asociación Europea de Perjudicados por la Ley de Costas en Canarias representative, José Luis Langa, yesterday. Sr Langa explained that under the revised legislation, those areas which do not already have final Court judgements against them could avoid this legal action, at least until the new law is finally on the statute books.
In Tenerife, therefore, only Cho Vito is subject to full demolition, and part of Igueste de San Andrés; the other areas affected are Las Resbaladas, Boca Cangrejo, Playa de la Viuda, Playa de Lima, Las Galletas, El Médano, Mesa del Mar, Igueste de San Andrés, El Caletón de la Matanza, Bajo La Cuesta, Cho Vito, El Varadero, Santa Lucia, Agache, San Juan de la Rambla, Almáciga-Taganana-Roque Bermejo, Los Cristianos, La Caleta-Adeje, Guía de Isora and Playa San Juan.
Original post 24 February: Fines and demolition orders for properties in breach of the controversial Ley de Costas have been halted while the new national government draws up revised legislation to deal with coastal areas. Nothing will now happen until the new law is in place, though some sanctions and demolitions may well still go ahead at that point if the properties concerned are found to be in breach of the new rules.
This may have significant ramifications in the Canaries where several areas have fallen foul of the existing law, but which have been argued by the Canarian authorities to be settlements of special ethnographic or architectural interest. The regional government has urged Madrid to make the redrawn legislation clearer and more flexible, and to ensure that it is not applicable arbitrarily and with inadequate indemnity for those affected, two of the main complaints about the existing law.
The national government’s minister of agriculture, food and environment, Miguel Arias Cañete, has stressed that the changes foreseen for the new Ley de Costas will respect both the environment and the recommendations of a European Parliament report that urged the government to modify the law to protect the legitimate rights of the owners of small coastal properties that had no negative environmental impact.
Let’s hope that this temporary stoppage to the penalties and demolitions will end up bringing a permanent halt to the nightmare that far too many long-term coastal residents have been living through.