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OMBUDSMAN REPEATS TORREVIEJA CRITICISM

For the second consecutive year, the office of the Ombudsman has criticised Torrevieja city council for failing to protect a number of historic buildings listed under the “General Plan”.
In the latest report, it is stated that the council …

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For the second consecutive year, the office of the Ombudsman has criticised Torrevieja city council for failing to protect a number of historic buildings listed under the “General Plan”.

In the latest report, it is stated that the council has once again failed to take any steps in protecting buildings such as the Nuevo Cinema, the tower and Casa de los Balcones or the Pensión del Parejo, parts of which are now falling into ruin.

The 2012 report, which has just been released this week, refers to the previous report of 2011, in which remedial work was ordered, but there has been “no action”. The record also states that, “the passivity of some municipalities are surprising”, to which Torrevieja was cited, which has now formed the basis of the complaint put forward by the Ombudsman in the report of 2012.

The Urban Planning department in Torrevieja say that they are unaware of the complaint, with Francisco Moreno saying, “We are strictly compliant with the Ombudsman’s office”, before commenting that a formal notice had been issued to the owners of one of buildings.

The Neuvo Cinema de Torrevieja closed in 1997. Rehabilitation work began but the building was eventually torn down under the instruction of the former mayor in 2001, later to be replaced by the Municipal Theatre.

José Manuel Dolón, of the Los Verdes green party in Torrevieja, says that, “The theatre was built under the guise of reform but the result is unrelated to the past or history Torrevieja. Making comparison to the Colosseum in Rome, these buildings hold a key to the history of the city and preservation is paramount, although, “the mayor laments environmentalists”.

However, an anti-environmental policy would not necessarily explain the reasons why the Planning Department of Torrevieja has ignored plans to rehabilitate the Los Balcones site. Danish architect Henriette Baden Lander, an expert in historic site recovery, submitted a proposal to convert the site into a wine museum, restaurant, or even a school, whilst still maintaining the original characteristics, restoring the building for the practical benefit of residents and tourists alike. But, despite numerous submissions and meetings, the Torrevieja town hall has shown no interest in the project.

The town hall claim that the matter is a private one and in the hands of the owner of the building, who had originally intended to build a hotel, preserving the facade of the building, but this would become almost impossible, especially now that a modern, luxury hotel has been built across the road.

The Los Verdes conclude that they agree the matter is a private one and that the town hall does not have the power to decide on the regeneration of the site, but they do have a legal obligation to enforce the law that insists on the property being preserved, to which at least one proposal ought to have been supported, thus avoiding the literal dereliction.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/38465/

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