The Mexican magnate Carlos Slim will not be able to build what would be a new Sotogrande, the luxury macro-urbanization in San Roque (Cádiz) through Realia . The listed company, controlled by the Aztec billionaire, prepares a claim to request compensation for damages after the San Roque City Council and the Junta de Andalucía have truncated the construction of 1,600 homes, tourist apartments and hotel rooms in the call Finca Guadalquitón , because that plot has become part of the Los Alcornocales natural park.
Finca Guadalquitón, of more than two million square meters, is located in an idyllic setting next to the western Mediterranean coast of Cadiz and adjacent to Sotogrande, one of the most expensive urbanizations in Spain. Due to the blockade suffered by the partial plan sponsored by the promoter in Guadalquitón for environmental reasons, Slim has seen that land lose all its value.
This is stated by the company in its semi-annual results report sent at the end of July to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), in which it acknowledges that it will request compensation. The company details that during the first semester it has received notification of the agreement of the Plenary of the San Roque City Council, which denies the definitive approval of the partial plan of the Guadalquitón Estate.
The real estate company argues in the document that regardless of whether that decision has been appealed in the contentious-administrative way, and that of the extension of the Los Alcornocales natural park to include the Guadalquitón Estate, the denial has meant that the estimated buildable area of the Realia’s current land portfolio decreased by 291,442 m².
“For this reason, the company has initiated a claim as compensation for the damages caused,” he announced in that document to the CNMV. In any case, it explains that the denial has not impacted on the valuation of the land, since the Guadalquitón plot is valued as rustic land.
The real estate agency does not specify in the document which Administration will request compensation. Nor does it respond to Cinco Días and is limited to referring to the responses in the official channels for its shareholders. In fact, the company recently responded in its last shareholders’ meeting in writing to an investor that the Madrid company had planned to file the corresponding claim for patrimonial liability with the Administration in the second half of July 2021. “As of today , the legal teams of the company are outlining the content of the claim and its amount has yet to be quantified ”, he answered.
A project with history
In another response to the Polygon fund, a minority shareholder of Realia with 9% of the capital, the company recalls that the development of that plot together with Sotogrande has been tried for the last 30 years without success despite the fact that the General Urban Planning Plan (PGOU) of San Roque qualifies it as urban land.
Juan Manuel Ordóñez, first deputy mayor of San Roque (PSOE) and councilor for Urban Planning, points out that this land is still developable, but since the Junta de Andalucía (PP and Ciudadanos) included it in the Los Alcornocales park it cannot be build. That decision was made in 2017, under the mandate of the socialist Susana Díaz in the Andalusian Executive.
“The only one that has the power to change land use is the San Roque City Council. In the Board they are the most responsible, ”says Ordóñez about the end of the Guadalquitón partial plan and a possible claim from Realia.
The socialist councilor exonerates the council because he assures that they have not had the margin to act, since the Board classified the urban plan in 2019 as environmentally unviable. The regional government, for its part, has not responded to this newspaper.
The current partial plan for Guadalquitón, a farm that owes its name to the river that flows into that beach south of Sotogrande, dates back to 1999. In 2004 the City Council approved a first plan for this development and later entered a legal battle over the environmental impact statement that would reach the Supreme Court in 2009 and that allowed this urbanization.
In 2013, the promoter of the plan resumed the partial plan, but it was stopped again by a decree of the Board on protection of the coastline. In 2015 a strategic environmental report is issued and the new proposal continues, which finally reduces the total buildable area of more than half a million meters to 362,000 m². Likewise, the number of planned homes is reduced by more than 40%, from the initial 2,800 to 1,644. “It assumes a ratio of 8.22 homes per hectare, which is within the low-density level,” is reflected in the proposed plan.
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