Legal Battle over 21,000 m2 Beach Occupation in Tenerife for Aquatic Activities


A company seeking to set up a cable ski for water activities on nearly 21,000 square meters of the Los Cristianos beach in Tenerife has been backed by the Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands (TSJC). This decision forces Ports and the Arona City Council to revisit their opposition reports.

The court has expressed concerns over the actions of the state agency, noting that they have left business owners defenseless by failing to inform them of the municipal stance, thereby preventing them from rectifying any shortcomings.

The proposed project involves installing 10-millimeter steel cables to pull water skiers along a 442-meter circuit. It will require a 220-square meter floating platform and a 165-meter floating pontoon linking to the old pier in Los Cristianos.

The designated area is part of a bathing zone at the mouth of the Aquilino ravine, frequently visited by swimmers. Consequently, the City Council argues that it interferes with the activities of the municipal sailing school located on the same beach.

The local council’s stance is that the safety of users is seriously compromised, leading to an unfavourable report.

The company challenged the Port Authority board’s decision from July 2021, which denied a concession – a decision now overruled by the TSJC, effectively putting the process back to before the City Council issued its opposing report.

This allows for the rectification of any identified deficiencies, giving the company an opportunity to provide evidence and understand the objections which were previously undisclosed.

The promoters have requested clarification from Ports regarding the inconsistency in criteria application compared to other previous instances, such as the Sailing School and the open water area of the Real Club de Tenerife and Charcos de Valleseco, while also highlighting the supportive feedback for the cable ski installation.

The Port Authority engaged with the City Council to discuss the project’s implications on Los Cristianos beach and Costas, as the designated surface needed to be repurposed from port usage.

While a senior sports technician from the Sailing School supports the initiative, a Civil Engineer has raised concerns about the risk to bathers. The engineer notes that the concession area for commercial use would cover 15.51% of the surface, slightly more than the 15% designated for bathing activities.

Nevertheless, a designated swimming and dinghy navigation channel will strictly adhere to safety regulations to ensure the users’ safety.

The TSJC argues that Ports dismissed the proposal based on the City Council’s report, assuming it made no sense to proceed with an administrative concession if no activities could be carried out thereafter. However, the municipal report was obligatory but non-binding.

It is also questioned why this was not communicated to the business owners, asserting that Ports could have addressed the matter based solely on a prior hearing at the City Council without encroaching upon other administrative powers.

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