Alicante spends 1.7 million to move one of its historic watchtowers stone by stone

The insatiable appetite for building that took over Alicante at the turn of the millennium led to some urban planning aberrations whose consequences are still being paid.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
14 May 2024 Tuesday 10:28
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Alicante spends 1.7 million to move one of its historic watchtowers stone by stone

The insatiable appetite for building that took over Alicante at the turn of the millennium led to some urban planning aberrations whose consequences are still being paid. One of them, the construction of a complex of homes a few meters from one of the historic watchtowers characteristic of the Alicante orchard and coastline, will cost citizens 1.7 million euros, which is necessary to pay for the transfer. stone by stone from the Placia Tower to a nearby location.

It is the solution that the competent authorities, the Ministry of Culture ultimately, ended up approving as the only way to avoid the execution of a ruling by the Superior Court of Justice of the Valencian Community, which in 2014 ordered the demolition of twelve single-family homes belonging to the Azalea Golf urbanization, which invaded the protection environment of a monument that was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest.

The nearly 40 townhouses built around Alicante Golf obtained a license in 2000, when Luis Díaz Alperi (PP) was mayor. Already in 2004 there was the first ruling against the granting of this permit, beginning a legal journey that lasted until the ruling of the TSJ in 2014. From that moment on, and faced with the possibility of being forced to face large compensations, the The city council took the option of avoiding the demolition of the homes at the expense of moving the monument.

For which it was necessary to acquire the tower from its owner, an operation that already cost another 1.7 million euros to the council, so completely resolving the mess will not have cost less than 3.5 million. When will that be? It could be this year, since yesterday the Local Government Board approved the basic project and execution of the works, the last administrative procedure prior to its start. And, with an updated budget of 1,769,777 euros, the work execution period is six months.

The tower will once again be erected on a municipal property plot classified as a cultural facility, located between Pintor Pérez Gil and Conrado Albaladejo avenues and Juana Francés street. Already in September 2019, the city council awarded the drafting of the project and execution of the works to the company Estudio Médicos de la Restauración for 1,488,693.25 euros. But, in October 2023, the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage of the Ministry included a series of corrections to the original project that represent an increase in the initial cost of the works.

The Placia Tower is part of the set of towers of the historic Alicante Huerta. Like Torre Sarrió and Torre Ferrer, it is municipal property. The entire set of towers are BIC by virtue of the Decree of April 22, 1949. The dismantling work, as well as the reconstruction on the destination plot, will be carried out stone by stone with architectural and archaeological supervision.

The destination plot is municipal and is located a few hundred meters from the original, since one of the conditions imposed by the Ministry requires that the monument not lose "historical contextualization", and the visual contact between towers that formed a system of Surveillance was an indispensable element in its origin.

In its current motley location, Torre Placia has lost the visual link with other towers located on the same historic road, the Ciprés tower and the Mitja Lliura Tower. In the new location, on the contrary, it will recover this characteristic of the orchard towers in its relationship with the Juana Tower and the Bosch Tower.