A Las Palmas court has ruled that it is impossible to make the Papagayo Arena Hotel in Playa Blanca legal and has ordered its demolition.
The ruling, by a court in Las Palmas, marks the failure of attempts to prevent the hotel, now known as the Sandos Papagayo Beach Resort, from a demolition order that was originally issued over ten years ago. In its judgement, the court stated that it was “proven that material changes prevent any legalization of the hotel.”
The court stated that Yaiza council had failed to carry out its duty to demolish the hotel, which continued to occupy public land intended for use as an access road to the Las Coloradas beach.
The story goes back to 1999, when the ex-Mayor of Yaiza, José Francisco Reyes, granted permission for the construction of the hotel, joining two parcels of land together as one and “eating upp” the public land for the road as a result. None of these licences were reported to the Cabildo of the time, which brought the case to demolish the hotel.
During his trial in the “Yacht” corruption case, Reyes confessed that he had granted these permits in return for bribes and in full knowledge that they were illegal. He was sentenced to six years prison in 2017.
Whether the demolition will actually go ahead is another matter – none of the demolition sentences issued on any of the illegal hotels on Lanzarote and Fuerteventura have ever been carried out to date.
If the demolition does go ahead, it will be a powerful symbol of the legacy left by the flagrant corruption that occurred on Lanzarote during the construction boom at the start of this century.
For regular updates, pictures and videos of Lanzarote be sure to like and follow our Facebook page “Gazette Life Lanzarote”.