Benidorm Island, one of the resorts iconic landmarks and visible from both the Levante and Poniente beaches is a popular tourist attraction, visited by thousands. A quick 15 minute boat trip from the port in the Old Town makes it ideal excursion – but scandal now surrounds the bar and restaurant on the island.
It transpires, that no license or permit was ever granted despite it openly trading!
Some 40 years ago permission was granted to build a guardhouse on the island then there is vagueness that at some point in the 90’s the then council allowed a business there – but with no official concession to do so. The Ministry of Environment only uncovered this by accident after they questioned the council on how they managed the facilities and services on the island, which is in fact a protected natural park.
The Councilor for Beaches, Lorenzo Martinez has now tabled a motion – which was passed, for the town hall to take over the management to legalize the situation and put out the services to tender, which also includes the boat company ferrying passengers across. The councilor is now consulting Costas – the authority responsible for beaches to be able to present a proposal to them in January, which will also include environmental compliance.
However, to act in accordance with very strict costal laws, the current building on the island will most probably have to be demolished and replaced with a ‘temporary’ structure.
Regardless of this, there are two outstanding investigations against the current business owners, one of which is discharging waste into the sea and so polluting the environment with potentially fatal effects on marine mammals – dolphins are often spotted around the island, fish, birds and plants.
The only potential problem is that back in 2014 the council put out tenders for a ‘chiringito’ – wooden beach hut selling cold drinks and snacks to go on Tio Ximo, a secluded cove in the Rincon… and to date, nothing. Despite three tenders being submitted by interested parties, they were all rejected by the town hall!