Babilonia home owners in Guardamar to pay for storm damage repairs
Each owner will pay out over 6,000 euros to repair the seafront in Guardamar
In their efforts to save their front-line beach properties the owners of the remaining 108 homes in the Casas de Babilonia have decided to take on the costs of repairing the storm damage suffered on the coast of Guardamar del Segura this last winter, before claiming back the estimated 800,000 euros needed to rebuild the seafront which separates the houses from the beach from the Ministry of the Environment.
In February the courts ordered the provincial coastal authorities to take immediate steps to reinforce the remaining houses and seafront in the Babilonia area of Guardamar, but the national Ministry then claimed that insufficient funds were available to do so, effectively forcing the owners to take action themselves. Their response was quick, and this weekend they voted to finance a project which has been drawn up by engineers to enable their properties to withstand the next battering from the sea, whenever that may be.
According to the residents’ association, each of the 108 families concerned will have to supply between 6,000 and 7,000 euros, a cost which for many will mean taking out bank loans. But they are intent on protecting their properties, and maintaining assets which are in danger of being written off as the houses are left at the mercy of the elements.
The Casas de Babilonia, which occupy the stretch of the shoreline immediately to the north of the town centre of Guardamar, were built mostly in the 1930s for the local fishermen, but with the arrival of tourism a couple of decades later became popular with people coming to spend their holidays from Madrid and elsewhere in Spain. However, the condition of these small houses has deteriorated severely, and they have been declared to be contravening the Law of the Coast.
For this reason owners have been barred from carrying out any repairs, and many are allowed to continue using the houses only until 2018: in 2015 640 metres of fencing was installed along the seafront of the Playa de Babilònia to protect members of the public from safety risks caused by the dilapidated condition of the houses along the front, some of which are now in a state of ruin.
Now, though, even the 2018 deadline will be practically impossible to reach, following the damage suffered in January, when waves of up to 6 metres battered the Costa Blanca.