• The Orihuela Council says that it wants to sell 38,000 square metres of land in the Colinas Golf development, 15,000 in La Cuerda and another 6,500 in El Garbanzuelo.
  • The auction was stopped with the introduction of the state of alarm but the sale has been reopened after an order from the central government

The goose that lays the golden egg is being called to stump up funds for Orihuela Ayuntamiento once again as the Oriolan City Council has decided to resume the procedure that was interrupted two months ago by the state of alarm, the auction of municipal urban land on three Orihuela Costa plots, with which it hopes to raise up to twenty million euros. The auction was announced on Monday by the councillor for Heritage, Rafael Almagro

He explained in a press release that a provision of the Royal Decree of 17/2020 allows the council to resume the auction of plots that the City Council had begun before the state alarm. As such, interested companies may apply submit their bids until 20 May. Strangely, the announcement was made by the councillor for Municipal Heritage, and not the councillor for Urban Planning, deputy mayor José Aix (Cs).

Almagro (PP) said that the Orihuela City Council intends to auction off three plots. The first one is located in PAU-21, (Colinas Golf Resort), it has an area of ​​38,539 square meters of land, of which 24,194 square meters are buildable, and it has a starting price of 14.4 million of euros.

The second plot is located in the La Cuerda sector, with an area of ​​15,861 square meters and 7,726 square meters of buildable land. This urbanisation is located between La Regia and Castillo de Don Juan, on the second line of the Oriolan coast. The starting price is 4.2 million euros.

The third plot is in the El Garbanzuelo sector (PAU-9), which has 6,951 square metres, with a buildable area of ​​3,659 square meters and a starting price of 1 million euros. This plot is located to the north of Orihuela Costa, on the second line of the coastal section and next to the motorway, bordering Torrevieja.

The estimated value in Colinas Golf is linked to the type of urban land being auctioned, in the main a luxury urbanisation surrounded by protected land. An exclusive area where the developer has imposed restricted access with license plate control.

Almagro said that the money raised from these sales cannot be used for current expenses, but must be invested again in real estate of a patrimonial nature. With the auction he says that the council can gauge the impact of the health crisis on the construction market for residential tourism. If the auction does not generate bids from the big companies in the sector, it is that the future in the short or medium term is not clear.

The Orihuela City Council has held this type of auction onmany occasions in the last two decades to balance it’s books and reinvest, although largely in the city.

The neighborhood associations of Orihuela Costa have been claiming for years that monies raised from such sales should be reinvested in the coast, where more than 30,000 residents live and who lack many basic facilities, such as public sports areas, emergency services and social centres.