A luxury residential development and favourite of Madrid’s well heeled – the Marina Isla de Valdecañas – has been given its demolition orders by Spain´s top constitutional court.
The development, known as the “Rural Marbella”, situated 120 kilometres west of Madrid, in the Extremadura region, boasts an 18 hole golf course, 185 villas, 76 boat moorings, a four-star hotel as well as an artificial “fine sand” beach.
Hundreds of additional units were pending construction to complete the development which began in 2007
The court ruled that the Marina Isla de Valdecañas complex was “unlawfully built” in a protected area, on an island in the Valdecañas reservoir near Cáceres.
The fresh water reservoir takes its source from the Tagus River that runs the length of central Spain to its Atlantic mouth in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon.
It has been subject to a 14-year legal battle with the Ecologistas En Accion ecological campaign group, who have been fighting for the island to be returned to its natural state.
In July 2020 a regional court in Extremadura,ruled that the Marina, including its hotel, villas and golf course, should remain standing as they were not causing environmental damage.
In addition the court estimated the cost of destroying the whole development would be nearly 34 million Euros and compensation to property owners could reach as much as 111 million Euros.
The court decided that although the development did not have a construction permit, its demolition be ruled out on financial grounds, stating that the regional Extremadura government would have had to foot the bill – and should not be held liable.
However this month´s supreme consititutional court decision overturns that ruling and orders the demolition.
Ecologistas en Acción celebrated the court´s decision, saying that not demolishing it would be “setting a dangerous precedent” for other illegally constructed buildings.
However the regional Extramaduran premier, Guillermo Fernández Vara, said that they would try to save the development, and are exploring lodging an appeal with the constitutional court.