A Las Palmas court has provisionally suspended the decision of the Consorcio de Aguas de Gran Canaria to enable Tenerife based theme park operator Loro Parque to occupy 121,000 square meters of land, in the ravine of El Veril, Efe reports.
Las Palmas Administrative Court number 3 responded to the request made by the company Lebensraum Wassers SL for the concession to be suspended while their objection appeal is resolved, in which they argue, that the land granted to Loro Parque was granted illegally.
The Kiessling family plans to invest €60 million in the south of Gran Canaria to open their new water park. The theme park development, significantly, is supported by various governmental institutions, including the direct support of The Canary Islands Regional Government, which has declared the project of special strategic importance, allowing for fast track resolution of the necessary administrative process and have authorised precise changes to the urban area usage specifications and even facilitated a change to the route planned for a long running project to construct a train line and station at the site.
The company opposing these plans say that the Loro Parque Group have been allowed to irregularly occupy land owned by the public water administration, without having to go through the normal process which other interested parties would have to, to submit projects for the same terrain.
They also maintain that there is no public interests at stake in this dispute, but only a draft development of a private company, arguing that the grant should be suspended until the appeal is resolved.
Without going into the merits of the case, Judge Maria del Rosario Palenzuela Olimpia accepted this last argument, considering that the precautionary suspension of the occupation of these lands “does not restrict a public activity, but private use”.
From this perspective the judge accepted that if the Loro Parque development proposal is allowed to go ahead that it is entirely possible that the plaintiff Lebensraum Wassers SL might suffer “irreparable prejudice “, as the area of the El Veril ravine that the water park Siam Park is to occupy will have been modified.
Loro Parque, the Island Water Council and the Cabildo of Gran Canaria all have the right to appeal to the Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands.
President of the Cabildo, Antonio Morales, has called for an “agile” resolution to the challenge.
And so this long running saga continues…
Lebensraum Wassers appear to be a company that was set up around the same time as the original permissions were finally granted in 2014, after a long running negotiation to buy the private land in the south of Gran Canaria from the Familia del Castillo concluded in 2013.
A strip of public land, which had previously been granted to the island water authority for utilities, needed to have its public usage declaration changed to allow the project to move forward. After much negotiation the Island Water Council agreed to the change, with the support of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, which resulted in the final purchase of the land by the Kiessling family.
Lebensraum Wassers SL soon appeared on the scene with objections regarding potential damage to “wildlife” and arguing that the Kiesslings had received unfair preferential treatment.
In turn the Kiesslings have suggested that Lebensraum Wassers had simply been set up to torpedo their plans. There has even been some unsubstantiated suggestion of a link between Lebensraum Wassers (german for “Water Habitat”) and a rival theme park operator who already own a water park in the area.
We will of course keep you informed of developments