Council threat to demolish retirement home if closed

BENALMADENA Town Hall has promised to demolish the Marymar retirement home if it remains closed or is reopened for a different purpose. This follows the news that 70 pensioners living in a Benalmadena retirement home have until the end of the month before it closes.

The home, located on Benalmadena seafront will close for necessary reforms, according to a letter sent to residents by owners Unicaja Obra Social (UOS) which has run it since 1981.

However, all members of the council have agreed that if it later remains closed or is given a different use, they will revise any agreements with Unicaja and demand that the Coastal Department demolish the building for encroaching upon public land.

This initiative was proposed by Benalmadena Mayor, Enrique Moya (Partido Popular), but is backed by all local political parties.

Moya had previously commented on his surprise over the need for works to be carried out, as it has only recently been reformed, something which the leader of the opposition, PSOE’s Javier Carnero, agrees with.

The Izquierda Unida candidate, Elena Benitez, believes that the closure is due to the fact that Unicaja will become a bank, and thinks it is “suspicious” that no date for reopening has been cited.

The home was due to be demolished in 1995, after an agreement was reached with the Coastal Department, the Town Hall and Unicaja, to build a new home on municipal land while the government would pay for the demolition and repair of the beach, but this never happened.

EWN spoke to a representative of Obra Social Unicaja who reiterated that no-one would be left without a home, and that the entity was negotiating possibilities with other retirement homes for those who fear they cannot afford to leave their current location, as well as offering alternative homes belonging to Unicaja in Ronda and Jaen.

They also mentioned that the project for the work had not yet been presented to the town hall as a study to determine what needs to be done is not complete, but that it would be impossible for the work to be carried out while residents remain in the home.

Sonia Martinez, whose father is a resident at the home, said UOS shut down a residential home in Almeria last year for similar reasons and that it “remains closed.”

The lawyer representing the residents, Silvia Arena, informed us that on May 10, lorries containing support posts and wood were delivered to the home. However, the town hall was informed, and the mayor ordered the police to prevent them for being delivered as there is no building license. She also says that so far, no-one has contacted her or the relatives despite there being more than 62 people still not placed in homes and closure approaching.


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