26 October 2015 – Expansión
On Friday, the Town Hall of Barcelona revealed the final impact of the hotel moratorium in the Catalan capital. The mayoress Ada Colua’s star initiative has left 35 projects up in the air, although it will not effect some of the most iconic projects, such as the hotel that Amancio Ortega is planning to build in Plaza Catalunya or the project proposed by Meridia Capital for the former Henkel headquarters.
The future of the 35 projects now depends on the special urban plan for tourist accommodation (Peuat or ‘plan especial urbanístico de alojamiento turístico’), the regulatory framework that governs the (tourism) sector in the city. The town hall expects to approve the framework in March, just before the suspension of the licences expires. “We still have time to put in order and regulate tourism”, said the fourth deputy mayoress, Janet Sanz, at a press conference.
The 35 projects affected include 30 hotels, three youth hostels and two halls of residence. Some of the most well known projects include the property that the Hotusa group, owned by Amancio López, plans to build on Avenida Vilanova (close to the Arc del Triomf) and the building that Meliá wants to convert on Calle Casp.
During the press conference, the councillor revealed that 51 projects have run their course unaffected by the moratorium, since they were approved when the previous government was in office, i.e. when CiU led the Town Hall. Those 51 projects include 36 licences, 9 obtained due to non-opposition and 6 that have urban use certificates (a document that allows a licence to be requested during a six-month period).
The opposition, led by CiU, criticised Colau’s policy and accused her of making a lot of fuss and then taking little action. They asked the mayoress to show “rigour and seriousness”.
Original story: Expansión (by Gabriel Trindade)
Translation: Carmel Drake