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The walkway was finally reopened after more than 20 years

The statement was made in a short council press release on Tuesday morning. It simply said ‘The Town Planning Councillor, Antonio Zapata, has announced that municipal crews have begun to demolish the wall and the fence that has been illegally erected by residents in order to prevent the passage by pedestrians along the seafront of Agua Marina to Cabo Roig.’

According to Zapata, following a two year, legal procedure, litigation through both Elche Courts and the High Court of Justice has finally ruled that the barriers erected by the residents of Bellavista 1 Urbanisation, blocking off the walkway between Cabo Roig and Aguamarina, is illegal, and in accordance with the council statement municipal crews duly moved in and removed the barriers and gates at both the northern and the southern end of the stretch of the Bellavista 1 walkway.

So for the first time in almost 20 years the coastal path was again restored to the public domain, allowing access and world class views to residents and visitors alike.

Restoration of the walkway is a victory of course for the residents of Aguamarina, many of whom said they were particularly grateful to the Leader Newspaper and their involvement in the campaign, first highlighted in the newspaper back in 2003. In the last 12 years the story has regularly featured as the front page news item drawing support from all areas of the local political spectrum.

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 visible action.

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 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 themselves 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. And now, the campaign has finally come to an end, thus allowing the public to once again stroll along the Orihuela Costa and enjoy the beautiful views of the Mediterranean sea, deprived to them for so long.

Ley 106 is the Spanish law that protects the country’s coastline. We have all heard about the Costas law not permitting buildings to be built less than 106 metres from the beach. So under the 1988 Ley de Costas, the beach is considered to be public land.

From the waterline there should be 106 metres where sports and agricultural facilities can be situated, but not homes or permanent buildings. The idea is for the coastline to be a free area which everyone can walk along, and relax and enjoy.

But until just last week, anyone who had tried walking along that particular stretch of the Orihuela Costa would see that not the case.

During the demolition process, attended by representatives from the CLARO Party, as well as the Councillor for the Coast Martina Scheurer, the Town Planning Councillor, Antonio Zapata, was clearly distancing himself from the activity.

Speaking to the Leader Zapata said that he didn’t want to inflame the situation any further and although it was necessary for him to be on hand to see the actions carried out he didn’t want to make any further statements at this time.

He concuded by saying that after completing the demolition process, the cost of around 2,000 euros, would be passed to Bellavista Urbanisation for payment.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/46783/

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