At a Torrevieja council meeting on Friday it was reported that, despite being protected in the General Plan of Urban Planning (PGOU) since 1987, la casa de Los Balcones may have it’s days numbered.
The future of this iconic old manor house, that gives its name to the area of Torrevieja in which it sits, is now the subject of a judicial decision that is calling for a report on whether it is cheaper to restore the building from its present state of ruin than it is to have it demolished, something that could allow them to tear down the building – which is what they have been looking to do for decades.
At the same time, the City Council has opened a file of expropriation accusing the owners of breaching their obligation to keep the property protected, something that is required by the Valencian urban law.
The councillor for planning, Fanny Serrano (PSOE), attributed the affair to the management of the situation by previous councils.
Between the 1980s and 2015 the building, one of the few examples of an ancestral agricultural home around Torrevieja lagoon, has been deteriorating. Between 2011 and 2015, the Council imposed fines in an effort to initiate urgent measures to ensure that the structure of the property was maintained, however the only work that was carried out was to the perimeter fence and to the shoring of the facade.
Much is currently at stake. The land (4,256 square metres with privileged views of the salt lake) is registered in the General Plan for hotel use. But now it seems likely that it will end up in the hands of the City Council with the owners arguing in court that the cost of refurbishing the property will be higher than the construction of a new building.