A new boundary that nationalises 15 kilometres of private land on the coast near Javea (North Costa Blanca) is set to cause serious problems for the owners of around 1,000 villas in the area, reports the Spanish press. Around one hundred owners may have to demolish all or part of their properties as a result, causing a local outcry.
The controversy is the result of a new boundary between private and public land drawn up by the Coastal Department of the Ministry of the Environment. According to Spain’s now infamous Ley de Costas, or Coastal Law, which nationalised the entire Spanish coastline in July 1988, all property on the beach or shorefront is public property, and the government gets to decide where the boundary lies. 20 years later and the government is still defining the boundary, hence the present controversy.
The new boundary covers 15 kilometres of coastline, mainly cliffs, running from Cala Blanca to Granadella, between Javea and Benitatxell, and affects some 1,000 properties, mainly villas, of which around 100 properties may suffer some degree of demolition.
The Coastal Department says the new boundary will impose order on the town planning chaos left over after years of frantic building along the coast, and will help prevent any more new developments along the shore.
Property owners affected by the boundary are up in arms, supported by Javea’s Mayor Eduardo Monfort. The Mayor has denounced the new boundary as illegal and an infringement of property rights. The Coastal Depart argues that action is needed to protect the shore from further development, in an area where the cliffs have already started to collapse in some places.
Developers in Javea are calling this the final straw for a sector already deep in crisis. “The only demand left was from foreigners after villas on the seafront and now we are going to lose that as well,” one developer told the Spanish press.