Doing it themselves

IN RUINS: Rural retreats are homes for squatters.

OWNERS of land in Benidorm’s Armanello district plan to take over the failed development.

With an area of 565,000 square metres this is the only sizeable tract of untouched land left in Benidorm and was once the rural retreat of well-off local families. It has been due for development since 2002 when the concession to build 3,000 homes went to the controversial Alicante businessman Enrique Ortiz.  

After years of legal wrangles the town hall officially dispensed with his services last January.  Six or seven of the original landowners, tired of waiting in the background, have decided to join forces and take control.   

They intend to form a Group of Urban Interest (AIU), face down the town hall and take over the development.  “We’re the owners.  And we’re prepared to do it ourselves.  We don’t want the administration to intervene, we’ve lost enough already,” said a member of one of the families whose houses are in ruins and occupied by squatters. “We have lost our properties, we can’t even get into them.  But we have to go on paying our taxes,” he lamented.

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