“The Canary Islands Decline Land Purchase to Prevent Hotel Construction”


The Canary Islands Government’s president, Fernando Clavijo, and the Tenerife Cabildo’s counterpart, Rosa Dávila, both affiliated with the Canary Coalition (CC), have criticised Granadilla’s mayor, Jennifer Miranda (PSOE), for her refusal to attend the meeting held this Friday to discuss the Cuna del Alma urbanisation and the La Tejita hotel projects.

Miranda declined the invite under the impression that the meeting was a mere “political façade.” Clavijo criticised the mayor, stating that if she had attended, she would have had all the necessary technical reports to address the issue “in a professional manner.” According to Clavijo, her absence indicates different intentions.

Tenerife Cabildo’s president, Rosa Dávila, was even more severe, equating Miranda’s refusal more with that of a “spoilt child’s” reaction than that of a political figure. Dávila suggested that Miranda may have been in discussions with the property. She added, “It would have been beneficial to explore the possibility, with the necessary documentation, of altering the licence, expanding the protected area, and restoring the adjacent area to its natural state.”

Clavijo once again placed the responsibility on the Granadilla de Abona City Council, “the entity behind the General Urban Planning Plan and the issuer of the La Tejita hotel’s license.” The Granadilla de Abona City Council approved the urban planning license in September 2017 and the construction license in November 2018. In both instances, Domingo Regalado, also affiliated with CC, held the position of mayor for the Southern Tenerife Council.

The President of the Canary Islands reiterated that the Canary Islands Government would not purchase the land as the autonomous community reserves land for schools, hospitals, and other essential government infrastructure, not to “prevent the construction of a hotel that was licensed by the local council.”

Clavijo argued against shifting the responsibility to the Canary Islands Government or the Cabildo, insisting that one cannot “evade responsibility.” He ironically questioned, “Why not involve the national government or the UN?”

Fernando Clavijo (CC), the President of the Canary Islands, refuted any claims on Friday regarding the Executive’s intention to acquire the plot where the La Tejita beach hotel stands in Granadilla (Tenerife), as well as any budget allocations for this purpose in the community’s accounts.

As reported by Canarias Ahora, the previous administration, known as the Pact of Flowers (PSOE, Nueva Canarias, Podemos, and ASG), had initiated the land purchase process in April 2023 to acquire the site for the controversial La Tejita hotel, covering an area of 52,987 square metres. An agreement had been reached between the government and the developer, with the developer even approaching the Ministry of Territorial Policy, Territorial Cohesion and Water in August to “proceed with the direct acquisition process.”

After the meeting, Clavijo informed reporters that the information provided by the mayor of Granadilla on Thursday was inaccurate and that her request to “undo reports” from the Government and Cabildo before the license was issued was incorrect.

According to the president of the Government of the Canary Islands, responsibilities are “clearly defined in the law” and in the case of La Tejita, it is the decision of the Granadilla City Council to determine whether to revoke the license granted to the developers of the project and review the documentation.

Fernando Clavijo explained that if the mayor of Granadilla had wanted to revoke the construction permit and reclassify the lands, she could have done so under the Land Law, without having to pay any compensation, and with full agreement on the matter.

When asked what he would have told the mayor if she had attended the meeting, he mentioned that he would have shared the 2019 Costas report, which indicated that a part of the hotel would be located in a restricted area, and they could have discussed initiating purchase negotiations with the developer.

“The City Council must take action, and we are here to assist and support them, but they cannot simply wash their hands off and say ‘this is not my issue’ because the license was already granted,” he concluded.

Origin of the Spirit

As for the second project in question, Origin of the Spirit, which impacts the municipality of Adeje, praise was given to the mayor, José Miguel Rodríuguez Fraga, for his willingness to engage. It was noted that the project’s documentation meets all requirements, with acts and licenses being in compliance with regulations.

Furthermore, it was mentioned that for this particular project, a company will be appointed to work alongside the General Directorate of Heritage to ensure the protection of pre-Hispanic sites in the vicinity. This monitoring will be continuous, halting work whenever such archaeological remains are discovered.

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