Els Poblets wants L'Almadraba beach back
Dénia mayor finds out by reading the press, but warns village will have to do its own cleaning
ELS POBLETS is planning legal action to get L'Almadraba beach back from Dénia for the first time since the 14th century – and Dénia's mayor has only just found out by reading the newspapers.
The Almadraba Els Poblets Association says taking back its beach has long been on the town's agenda, but is now becoming 'something sentimental' as well as practical.
Whilst homeowners on the gravelly shore pay their taxes to Els Poblets town council – given that the Almadraba is, geographically, based there and some 15 kilometres away from Dénia – it is the larger town which is responsible for cleaning and providing services.
Dénia's mayor Vicent Grimalt says he 'cannot understand' Els Poblets' complaints, since the village is in 'a very comfortable position' – that of 'getting all the tax income without having to do the work'.
But residents have long criticised the Almadraba's poor standards of maintenance, saying that for Dénia council, they are 'out of sight and out of mind'.
And they cannot appeal to their local authority to solve the issue, since Els Poblets does not own the beach.
Almadraba homeowners think Dénia does not bother much with them because they do not earn any money from them in taxes.
Grimalt says Els Poblets is 'welcome' to take legal action to recover its beach, but that the two local authorities 'need to talk about it'.
He said the first he knew about the issue was when he read it in a Spanish regional daily.
Owned by Dénia for 700 years
L'Almadraba beach became annexed to Dénia in the 14th century for practical reasons relating to tuna-fishing and transporting catch.
Els Poblets' mayor Salvador Sendra says taking the beach back has been part of electoral manifestos in the town for years, but has never been achievable.
“We've applied to have the beach back on many occasions, but Dénia council will not budge,” Sendra says.
“So, we're willing to appeal to whoever is necessary: regional government, national government or the courts.”
Sendra told residents at their last association meeting that the matter had been in the hands of solicitors since May, but they have not told him what stage they are at.
He says he is not expecting to hear much any time soon, since the process 'is likely to be very long-winded'.
Grimalt says it is the provincial coastal department, known as Costas and part of the central government's environment ministry, which is responsible for setting the boundaries, meaning he may not be able to take a decision on the Almadraba in any case.