The TSJC Canary Islands´ Superior Court of Justice today provided a green light for the long awaited and biggest tourism development of its kind on Gran Canaria, approving regulatory changes, supported by various public administrations, to authorise the construction of the large water park to be developed by the Loro Parque Group (Siam Park) in El Veril (San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Las Palmas) .

The Administrative Litigation Chamber’s Second Section, at its headquarters in Las Palmas, has dismissed the appeal filed, by the company Hermanos Santana Cazorla, against the November 2015 decree from the Government of the Canary Islands, to suspend the planned (El Tren) public transport corridor between the Gran Canaria’s capital and southern tourism heartlands of Maspalomas, to make management of the long awaited water park feasible and approve a transitory regulation that guarantees the continuity of the railway project layout.

In a ruling handed down by the President of the Superior Court, Antonio Doreste, alongside magistrates Óscar Bosch, María Mercedes Martín and Lucía Déborah Padilla, the court rejected all five points on which the appeal was based.

Santana Cazorla had sought the nullifying of the approved urban plans, claiming that the approved project protected one particular interest over the general interest;

Today’s ruling responded by stating that while it is is “obvious” that the underlying interest is private, that of a mercantile society [Grupo Loro Parque], “that interest does not exclude its concurrence with [that of] the public, since the benefits to the public interest are obvious, detailed in its foundation, the creation of foreseeable temporary employment (derived from construction) and permanent jobs (derived from exploitation), with the precedent of the same Water Park on the island of Tenerife, owned by it mercantile company, in operation for many years and from which the present is copied, whose success is notorious “.

That it was disproportion between the causes alleged in the public interest and the suspension of planning instruments; 

The public interest has been appreciated by the autonomous Administration with the support of the other administrations involved.

That there had been improper use of urban [legal planning] instruments; 

The Chamber recalled that in a “highly competitive” international scenario, any tourist destination “has to increase its attractions by incorporating high-quality complementary activities”, and reviewed their procedures having visited the project without finding any invalidating irregularity.

That there had been an absence of public information processing 

It was pointed out that the allegation of an absence of a public information procedure, in the judgment of Santana Cazorla, was based solely on the fact that the procedure was not published in the press, to which the Chamber responded that it was not a mandatory requirement and that it was sufficient to give an account in the BOC (Canary Islands Official Bulletin).

Absence of environmental impact statement.

Finally, the Court noted that there is also no regulatory support that requires the environmental impact assessment in the current process. “Suspension decrees are not planning instruments”.

The El Veril environmental assessment took place as part of the Modernization, Improvement and Increase in Tourism Competitiveness Plan (PMMI), and the review of the Special Territorial Plan 21 (PTE-21) “will take place during its processing.”

Consequently, with the dismissal of the appeal, the Chamber imposed procedural costs on Santana Cazorla, up to a limit of 3,000 euros for each of the defendants.


Gran Canaria Train – Originally proposed route

Originally planned route for the Gran Canaria Train, the final 7km into Playa del Inglés are now under review due to changes necessitated by the Siam Park water park project in El Veril. (selection of video simulations first published in 2011)

The Cabildo de Gran Canaria, it has emerged this week, is still pushing forward with long talked of plans for connecting the capital, Las Palmas, with the south via train line.

The approved train line corridor runs between Santa Catalina in the northern capital, Las Palmas, and Meloneras in the touristed south, and now includes 11 stations. The total cost of this project is estimated at €1.5 billion and most of the works projects have to be delivered by this summer to the company, set up for the project, Ferrocarriles de Gran Canaria.

Posted by TheCanary.TV on Thursday, June 11, 2020