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The acting mayor of Orihuela, Antonio Zapata of the PSOE, who also holds the competencies for Town Planning, has announced this week that the final stage of recovering land in Cabo Roig has now been reached.

The waterfront stretch of land is located on the Bellavista 1 urbanisation, between Cabo Roig and Aguamarina, which was illegally fenced off by the residents of urbanisation decades ago, and has since been a battle for a number of residents and visitors trying to claim it back.

In May of last year, Zapata and his department announced that they had begun the official legal proceedings to regain the land, thus allowing the town hall to restore public access through the coastal walkway. The announcement was praised by many, after years of their complaints seemingly being ignored, but there had been no further apparent action since.

The councillor for the coast, Martina Scheurer, explained that the process undertook by the town hall was a legal route, which therefore had to proceed through the courts and the correct administrative procedure for allowing both sides of the case to be heard, in order to justify taking the land back.

Now, following that process, the final stage is complete, which allows the town hall to remove the architectural elements of the obstruction, the wall and the gates that have closed off the public land, to end the private claim of part of the promenade and the beach, which the residents have staked claim to as private land.

However, those who illegally took or lay claim to the land still have a short period to carry out the restorative work themselves, a period of around 2 weeks, and so it is not likely that the town hall will commence the demolition until after the summer period, but Zapata states that the action will be taken, as soon as it is appropriate, to allow the land to return to the purpose it was designated.

The Leader has been instrumental in this campaign since day one, raising the matter on behalf of residents with every council team who have been in power, from the time of the PP rule, through the coalition government and every councillor who held the position of responsibility for the coast.

In 2010, we covered the story in considerable detail, reporting on a complaint raised by Bob Houliston´s CLARO political group who criticized the “photo opportunities for Mayoress Monica Lorente”, without taking any action against these residents to regain the land.

As the PP lost power in the last municipal elections, it was in the manifesto of the group who became the tri-party coalition that replaced the Lorente government, with Bob Houliston being given the post of councillor for the coast, but still no action was apparently taken.

In early 2013 we also reported on the praise given to repairs of the beach under the management of Pedro Mancebo, who took over the role from Houliston, but still eluding the matter of the walkway, as we reported, “Questions still remain unanswered however regarding the section of the walkway at the northern end of the paseo illegally blocked off by the residents of the Urbanisation Bellavista 1 in Cabo Roig.”

When we last reported this in May of last year, we stated how this is the first time some positive action has been made, returning the land to public ownership and use, rather than permitting a handful of residents, who many consider to be selfish and considered above the law, to effectively steal land that doesn´t belong to them, depriving the rest of the community from access and egress to this part of the coast. Now, the campaign is set to come to an end, thus allowing the public to once again stroll along the Orihuela Costa and enjoy the beautiful views of the Mediterranean deprived them for so long.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/44607/

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