Elche courts have dismissed the suspension of the use of canine beaches situated at Punta Margallo and Cala del Mal Paso which was requested by the residents association of Cala del Moro. Deputy mayor Fanny Serrano reported the judicial findings at a press conference on Wednesday morning.
Serrano explained that on 25 June the mayor, José Manuel Dolón, issued a decree declaring two beaches as canine beaches, Punta Margallo and Cala del Mal Paso, in accordance with the requirements of article 36.3 of the Beach Ordinance. The Decree was published in the BOP on 9 July following which the residents association of Cala del Moro filed a contentious administrative appeal against the order.
In their appeal, the residents asked the Court to agree to suspend the use of the canine beach, without hearing the arguments of the Municipality of Torrevieja, in order “to prevent such a declaration from affecting local residents all through the summer. They stated that they are all the occupants of adjacent properties who only come to the area in the summer season, and they would be deprived of the use of their beach”, they also offered a deposit of 1,000 euros as a surety.
However the court gave Torrevieja council five-days to present their arguments and extraordinarily authorised the month of August to hear the appeal. Serrano reported that the City Council presented its evidence on 3 August and they were delighted with the final decision. Cllr Serrano thanked the councillor Victor Ferrández “for his efforts in drafting the legal submission”.
On 7 August, the Court issued an order dismissing the residents appeal “because there is no irreparable harm done to the community, because the canine beach is temporary and only for this year, and also, because it considers that the irreparable damages alleged by the community association has not been proven in any way.
The judge added that “there is a general thought that the City Council has issued the decree to satisfy a demand made by a large proportion of the municipal population”.
In her appearance before the media, the mayor referred to one of the paragraphs in the court decision – which she considered quite explicatory – regarding what the residents consider to be irreparable damage in stating “the dogs will run free on the roads and could even access the properties of the residents, in addition to which many of the local people have a fear of dogs “, to which the judge responded that” the statement cannot be justified in any way, it seems that they are referring to an area for the recreation of herds of wild animals instead of a Canine Beach which will be regulated by a strict set of regulations”.
He also stated that the Decree itself establishes a series of rules to prevent dogs from causing discomfort to other bathers and refers to the Regulation controlling use, safety and the conservation of the Beaches.
Finally the judge said that the agreement has been adopted for the general benefit of the municipality and that is of a provisional nature until such time as the final one is established with the maximum participation of the townsfolk of Torrevieja.