For almost 50 years the Ctra de Villamartin, the road connecting the N332 with Villamartin, has run across land that is owned by the original developer, Urbanizadora Villamartín SA, covering a total of 11,832 square meters of surface. It was originally built by the constructor in order to move building materials to the area to effect the construction of the urbanisation when work first began in 1972.

The area has now evolved into a cosmopolitan urbanisation, comprising some 1,500 apartments, villas and town houses, the main inhabitants being from western Europe and mostly English speaking.

As a result of the growth of the area, the road has now become a busy thoroughfare and is used by thousands of motorists on a daily basis.

Just two years ago the tarmac was re-laid and paid for by the Orihuela Council, although it is once again beginning to show signs of wear.

Now, after a judicial process that began in 2009, when the owner of the land claimed compensation from the City Council for the plot where the road sits, despite being constructed for its own commercial interests, the matter has been settled with a payment of 1.2 million euros.

The company originally asked the administration for 2.2 million with the eventual value finally being set by the expropriation court.

The payment amount was confirmed with a vote at last Tuesday’s Plenary Meeting with the votes in favour of all the political formations, except the abstentions of Vox and Cambiemos.

Councillor Carlos Bernabé, of Cambiemos, stated that the land has been used for more than four decades as a public road. It has also been essential for the marketing of homes by the company so the payment is “a burden” and “mortgages the future”. In short, he added, it is a consequence of “chaotic urban planning procedures and wild urban planning” that has prevailed in the municipality for decades.