You might already know about the story behind Cortijo de Andalucía in Almuñécar; a hotel that should have been the first 5-Star one in town, but there’s now a twist.
The patience shown by the businessman behind the project, Trinitario Betoret and his wife, Sara Catalá, has finally snapped. And when we say patience, we mean 16 years’ worth, with funds tied up in the hotel, which is virtually complete.
In the meantime, vandals have been to work on it, so not only does the remaining building work have to be carried out, but the damage caused by vandals has to be rectified. All this delay and vandalism means that millions have been lost.
To get the thing going again, the Town Hall had to cancel the existing building licence and issue a new one. First they put the idea before the consultive advice for Andalucia (a regional, legal advisory board), who gave a thumbs up but in 2019 the High Court rejected it. Then came the pandemic and the blows that the hotel sector suffered with the imposed restrictions.
So, now Sr. Betoret has entered a claim to the Junta de Andalucía to pay him compensation for those years lost. The fact is that seeking compensation via the judicial system is not an option — that door is closed.
“We still have the will to go ahead with the hotel but we are much more displeased than when we began,” adding, “it’s an abuse, a barbarity and a monumental incapability to solve problems on the part of the administrations — we have the administration [Junta] working against us, instead of working in favour of businesses that create jobs.”
It will cost about seven million euros to finish the hotel but if you take into account the loss of earnings, then we are looking at something closer to 15-million euros but Trinitario Betoret only wants enough to put right the damage cause by vandals and the passage of time and get it finished and its doors opened.
It was in the year 2000 when the Town Hall issued the licence but the Junta opposed it, considering that the plot was on greenbelt land. In 2005 the Town Hall reissued the licence but the Junta again opposed it. Then in 2007 work ground to a halt whilst legal battles continued even though it was virtually finished.
Years passed and in 2018 the Town Hall won the case and approached the consultive advice looking for a favourable result but it rejected the Town Hall’s plans to finished the hotel, so the Town Hall annulled the building licence and issued a new one (the third) in order to avoid further conflict with the Junta de Andalucía.
And that’s where we find ourselves today and why Betoret wants compensation from the Junta.
(News: Almunecar, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)