22 hotels in Lanzarote declared illegal by the Supreme Court of the Canary Islands still face an uncertain future. As the controversy over their fate continues.
Some of Lanzarote´s best known hotels are in the firing line, such as the five star Gran Melia Volcan in Playa Blanca, the Natura Palace and the Gran Castillo.
In total eight five star hotels, ten Apart-hotels and four new developments still in the planning stage have been decreed to have flouted an edict controlling construction on the island. Which was created back in 2000 to militate against
unfettered building work.
However two local councils essentially chose to ignore these new rules. And granted licenses to hotels which contravened this ruling in two of Lanzarote´s main resorts, namely Costa Teguise and Playa Blanca.
Established hotels in Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote´s leading resort, managed to escape the controversy. As local councilors here adhered to the new planning restrictions.
A police unit that specialises in fighting organised crime was then formed to investigate whether the former mayors of Teguise and Yaiza were guilty of accepting bribes from developers in return for building licenses.
A view that was supported by the Supreme Court of the Canary Islands as a result of an action instigated by the central island government in tandem with the César Manrique Foundation.
A further meeting was held recently between the Director of the Environmental Department of the Canarian Government, representatives from the Ayuntamientos of Teguise and Yaiza and the hoteliers association Asolan. But the leader of the island central government failed to attend – making a final consensus impossible.
Those assembled were simply left to agree that a case by case study was necessary to explore how the offending hotels might be brought into line. There is some suggestion that these hotels could even be demolished. But most island observers consider this highly unlikely. As Linarite can ill afford to do such damage to the local job market or the islands international reputation as a holiday destination.