Planned site for the new lido – now set back at least two years.
AFTER years of delay and frustration the €2.4 million plan to build a swimming pool on the coast at Puerto Santiago has been declared a non-starter.
Some 20 years on the drawing board, the Lago de Santiago project was given the thumbs down by the environment department last week.
Miguel Velasco, director general of the environment department’s coastal section, decreed that the plans infringed on the publicly owned seashore, which must remain accessible to all.
And he has warned that some established seafront developments in the area may also be under threat.
The decision left Juan Damian Gorrín, mayor of Santiago del Teide, shocked and angry.
It also caused red faces at the Cabildo and in the island government, both of which had agreed to partly fund the swimming pool project.
Now the three authorities are joining forces to try to revive the ill-fated plans that have languished for years for lack of funding arrangements and been dogged by ill-luck.
Only last April, work to prepare the ground for the grandiose recreation area were brought to a standstill when diggers undermined the adjoining cliff face, causing the collapse of Calle La Sirena, immediately above it.
It swept away the link between the two halves of Puerto Santiago, causing huge traffic diversions for months while work went on to restore the road.
Barely had the road re-opened than Velasco dropped his bombshell.
At an on-site meeting on December 10 he told Gorrín and José Segura, representative of the national government in the Canaries, the plan broke the law by “impeding the free use of a public space by the general public”.
He also described as “nonsense” a plan that “intends put up a wall blocking off an area that belongs to us all”.
He said the plans would have to be re-examined to avoid infringing the coastline and said a new plan would have to be drawn up and finance found to reclaim the public space.
Any new plans that could be agreed, he said, would need to be much smaller than the series of pools and gardens that had been envisaged for so long.
Velasco, who has been driving the case for tearing down the seafront Hotel Médano further down the coast, also warned the shell-shocked mayor Gorrín that a study had been put in motion to reclaim other “damaged” areas of the coast in Santiago del Teide.
José Segura said it seemed conceivable that certain buildings obstructed the free enjoyment of the coast.
He cited cases brought by coastal department in El Rosario which, he said, “Had to comply with the dictates of the law”.
Council, Cabildo and Canarian government staff and politicians are now scratching their heads to devise a face-saving plan that would not draw fresh objections from the coastal department.