#RemoveTheFences: Reopen Tauro Beach!

Two months since this publication started to call for removal of the fences at Tauro beach, Mogán town hall are reportedly, at last, trying to speed up central government in Madrid to reopen the coastal enclave mired in controversy.  More than a year after access to this stretch of coastline was blocked off, residents and visitors are still being prevented from swimming in the area, with security guards and fences blocking access to the new beach.  At easter Guardia Civil had to eject more than 200 holiday makers from this pristine artificially augmented beach, leading to embarrassment and confusion.

Mogán’s Mayor, Bueno, is now scheduled to meet with Josefa Solemou, Deputy Director General of Public Domain Maritime Land and Coasts, next June 6, according to local Spanish language daily La Provincia, to push for the cove to be reopened this summer, since it was closed by the administration a year ago after they had detected irregularities in the regeneration and expansion project carried out by the Anfi group.

“It is an abuse of power of the administration to keep the beach closed for so long and to force the company that obtained the concession to pay security guards to ensure that no one enters,” said Mogán. She added that the residents who have been able to bathe there have commented that “entry to the sea is better than that of Amadores” Both beaches were naturally made of stones and pebbles, and sand was placed to make them more comfortable for bathers.

At the moment, the Spanish coastal authority, known as the Costas, have yet to resolve allegations and objections made by the Anfi group as a result of the fact that the coastal authority, linked to the Ministry of the Environment, opened proceedings in November 2016 to revoke the concession Anfi were granted to occupy this beach back in June of 2015. For more than a year a metal fence has delimited the whole area of ​​sand, and in addition, since last summer the developer has had to raise a wall of sand and place stonework to prevent the tide from flooding houses of the residents who have their homes at the foot of the beach along the shoreline.

The concession granted permission for the developer to convert 11,200 square meters of public seafront land for tourism, creating an artificial sandy beach; however Anfi was also committed to contribute some 3,683 square meters of land to expand the beach area, which was the primary condition that allowed the well known luxury timeshare operator to win the tender contest, blocking nearby Amadores concessionaire Miguel Cazorla and Sons who were also bidding, however this key condition, it seems, was never fulfilled.

It was environmentalist complaints that alerted the Guardia Civil’s natural environment unit, Seprona, that the works could affect the protected coastal area of Mogán, but the investigation went further and ended up continuing the closure of the beach and the firing of the head of the Costas in the Canaries, José María Hernández, who was replaced by one Rafael López Orive. A court case against José María Hernández has opened due to discrepancies in his allowing the work to go ahead without documentary confirmation of Anfi’s compliance and then subsequently he is accused of having falsified official documents to try and hide the fact that he allowed work to begin without the necessary commitments having been fulfilled.

Anfi claim to have invested some six million euros already in Tauro, for the placement of some 70,000 tons of sand brought by Norwegian transport boat from Western Sahara, and transported by truck from the Puerto de La Luz to Mogán; part of this expense apparently because they were not able to dock the ship in Arinaga, or even more sensibly El Pajar, to shorten the route of shifting sands. The development of this beach, for which the Anfi group had been waiting for some twenty years, was first and foremost a necessity to create value for the 7,000 tourist beds in the Tauro urbanization that the group has pending to be built.

Mogán will also reportedly take advantage of the appointment with the general subdirectorate of Public Domain Maritime Lands and Coasts, to talk about the concession for El Perchel beach near Arguineguín to push forward the long awaited renewal project and the creation of a new pedestrian promenade, restaurant service spaces, a solarium, and also renew the sand, renovating the existing natural pool, and making the beach accessible for people with disabilities.

Bueno is also planning to request the recession of the maritime land area demarcation for ​​the main beach in Arguineguín to adapt to new regulations, and will explain that the drafting of the second phase of the Paseo de las Maranuelas project has been contracted with the intention of providing a maritime promenade along the entire coast to Patalavaca and Anfi. The Canary Islands Government has contributed €300,000 to channel the nearby Costa Alegre ravine, which is to be the first phase of the project valued at €11 million, and which is to be undertaken in phases.

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