Entrepreneur Wolfgang Kiessling has been waiting for eight months, along with the rest of us, for the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana to grant him the final outstanding license to start channelling of the El Veril ravine, so that the long touted water park development can begin. According to a statement yesterday “the municipal administration is bound by a legal imperative to comply with deadlines” for established strategic projects, such as Siam Park. The legislation establishes that investments enjoying this special type of recognition, by the Government of the Canary Islands, not only receive “preferential processing but in turn demand a shortening of the time scales to half”. The statement goes on to say that the southern town hall have “repeatedly failed deadlines”.
All of this comes 3 years after receiving a green light for the project which took perhaps ten years to negotiate.
“Similarly, the regulations expressly state that projects included in the [town council] Modernisation Plans must obtain building permits within a maximum period of one month,” the statement continues pointing out that they have waited for eight months for the municipal permit that would allow them to begin.
Therefore, the frustrated project promoter says, the fact of whether “the file does or does not have a favourable municipal technical report” prior to the local administration then newly requesting a report on territorial qualification of the parcel from the Cabildo, is now “irrelevant,” say the company, “having failed to comply with the legal term for granting the license of work”. Grupo Loro Parque stressed in their letter that this new report, “spontaneously” requested from the Cabildo, was “with the intention of further delaying unnecessarily the granting of the license,”.
Despite bureaucratic obstacles faced by Siam Park, the group headed by Wolfgang Kiessling, have indicated that “it continues in the irreplaceable effort to create world-class infrastructure that enhances the leisure offering on the island of Gran Canaria” .
Meanwhile, the conservative Partido Popular PP, with whom the local Mayor´s own AV party are in coalition in the southern municipality, have this weekend tried to launch further personal attacks against the island´s president, Antonio Morales, accusing him of shamelessly holding up the project for nothing more than party political point scoring in the southern municipality.
Though it may be an unpopular point of view, which may indeed draw fire, this publication has seen no evidence whatsoever of President Morales delaying or attempting to place obstacles in the way of this project. Far from it, he appears as frustrated as any that this project is still being held up.
The fact that there has been such a long delay, followed by a new request from the town hall for the Cabildo to advise on whether or not there is necessity for territorial qualification report, which the president then personally advises it be prudent to do, as the town hall have now suddenly asked for it, and himself agrees to ensure is completed “immediately” on request, says a lot about who is holding this project up and who is doing all he can to safeguard it and move it forward.
But then, who really knows? What is clear is that the project, which has caught the popular imagination, is endangered every time finger pointing replaces expedient process.