Monster store loses court fight to expand even further.
The Canarian High Court has revoked a planning licence to extend the Alcampo store in La Laguna.
The move was in response to an appeal by Federación de Comercio de Tenerife (Fedeco) and the local branch of the socialist PSOE party, which demanded the site be sealed immediately.
In its shock judgement the court revoked planning permission granted by the La Laguna city council at a meeting behind closed doors in 2016.
The Coalición Canaria local government group has already announced that it is studying a way to appeal against the decision.
Lawyer Carlos Ravelo, representing Fedeco, together with a jubilant Gustavo Matos from the PSOE, said the decision was unique in the Canaries.
La Laguna deputy mayor, Fernando Clavijo, admitted the ruling had taken him by surprise since a lower court had earlier ruled in favour of the council.
Clavijo said because of that, the council’s legal advisers were studying the ruling to see if there are grounds for further appeals.
The Canarian High Court ruling revoked an earlier decision by the lower court, which had decreed the licence was valid. In its ruling, the court said, “We annul the planning permission awarded by the head of the urban planning department for the Alcampo extension that was awarded behind closed doors.”
In other words, permission was granted without discussion in council and awarded purely administratively.
Such decisions are not unusual and happen all the time on small projects such as houses but not on large projects like that proposed at Alcampo.
The whole affair began in August 2015 when Alcampo presented a basic project to extend its store. But it was not until February 2016 that the company applied for a works licence.
And that was when the problems began to surface. The Cabildo issued a report saying the plans were lacking certain technical requirements and did not comply with urban planning regulations.
The Canarian government annulled the works licence until the plans conformed to the regulations. Following a more than 250-page report and months of bureaucratic and political wrangling, the local planning councillor in La Laguna went ahead and awarded planning permission without consulting the full council.
The opposition PSOE’s Matos said the governing Coalición Canaria had had at least four opportunities to rectify that ‘oversight’.
The last of those came at a full council meeting in June 2004, when the socialist opposition put forward a motion to rescind the planning application. But the motion was defeated by the ruling CC with the cooperation of the Partido Popular.