7 October 2015 – Orbyt
The High Court of Justice in Cataluña has declared admissible a complaint filed by the construction company Núñez y Navarro against the Town Hall of Barcelona. Specifically, the company has denounced the moratorium that the municipal government team, led by the mayoress Ada Colau (pictured), approved at the beginning of the summer. The moratorium has resulted in the suspension of more than 40 hotel projects that were underway in the Catalan capital, for at least one year.
Núñez y Navarro, which has registered the complaint through one of its subsidiaries, is currently building a new hotel on Calle Rec Comtal, in the historical centre of the city. The Town Hall approved the project eight years ago, and given that it had already been granted the necessary permits and licences, the moratorium was not meant to affect it.
Nevertheless, at the beginning of the summer, the district counsellor of Ciutat Vella, Gala Pin, reported that an investigation had been opened to check whether there had been irregularities with the processing of the urban planning application. At that time, the municipal government did not rule out that the opening of this establishment could ultimately be suspended, in the event that it was able to prove that there had been malpractice in the rezoning of the site.
Yesterday, municipal sources refused to comment on the news that Núñez y Navarro’s complaint had been declared admissible. However, they did say was that the period (of two working months) during which companies affected by the moratorium are permitted to file complaints with the courts will come to an end shortly. Only then will the Town Hall provide an overall assessment of the impact of the measure.
The first consequences of Ada Colau’s moratorium have already been felt. At Deutsche Bank’s former headquarters, located on the corner of Avenida Diagonal and Paseo de Gracia, the existing building will no longer be demolished to construct a hotel, instead the property will be renovated and converted into luxury homes. By contrast, another iconic project will go ahead, namely the conversion of Torre Agbar into a luxury hotel to be operated by the US chain Hyatt.
Original story: Orbyt
Translation: Carmel Drake