Golf resort

Spanish court orders demolition of entire golf resort built in protected area

(CNN) — An entire golf resort, a four-star hotel and nearly 200 homes must be destroyed after being built in a protected natural area, Spain’s highest court has ruled, after a 14-year legal battle.

The luxury Marina Isla de Valdecañas development, which includes 185 villas, a four-star hotel and a man-made beach, is set to be demolished, according to a Supreme Court ruling released Tuesday.

The development has been built on an island – La Isla de Valdecañas – in a reservoir in the Extremadura region of western Spain, with hundreds of additional villas and a second hotel set to be added to the site.

The luxury development is around 100 miles west of Madrid, and it has the closest sandy beach to the Spanish capital, according to its website.

It has been the subject of a 14-year legal battle by an environmental campaign group called Ecologistas en Acción, who said the development was built in a protected area that should be returned to its natural state.

CNN has contacted Marina Isla de Valdecañas for comment.

In July 2020, a court in Extremadura ruled that the hotel, villas and golf course, which were already in operation, should remain standing as they did not cause environmental damage.

The decision estimated that the cost of destroying the entire development would be nearly 34 million euros ($38.8 million) and compensation for the owners would reach 111 million euros ($126.7 million). of dollars).

He therefore ruled out demolition for economic reasons, as the regional government of Extremadura would have had to foot the bill, and said that only facilities still under construction should be destroyed.

However, Tuesday’s decision reverses that decision and orders their demolition.

Ecologistas en Acción celebrated the latest decision, which it says avoids setting a “dangerous precedent” for other illegally constructed buildings.

Guillermo Fernández Vara, president of the regional government of Extremadura, said on Wednesday that he would try to save the development, probably by filing an appeal with the Spanish Constitutional Court.

Top image credit: Google Earth