Friday 5th November 2021 – XÀBIA AL DÍA with Mike Smith
Residents living in La Granadella are fed up and fear for the future of this impressive natural setting that is one of the great tourist attractions often pushed by the local and regional administration which constantly uses its idyllic image to promote the landscape treasure of Xàbia and the Comunidad Valenciana.
For a long time, residents of the area have denounced the irresponsible behaviour of a large number of people who violate the rules of citizen coexistence, beyond the months of tourist overcrowding in summer, when the barriers that limit access to the cove during high season are lifted.
As reported by XAD in September, it does not seem to matter that both Avenida Tío Català and Calle Pic Tort are full of signs which prohibit parking and camping. Many visitors flock to the cove with their cars and caravans, park as close to the beach as possible and install themselves in breach of the regulations and without paying attention to the peculiarities required by the geography of the area. Regarding the latter, the neighborhood group points out that “due to the recent rains, it has been impossible to walk to the end of the beach, because cars and caravans block the way.” Even municipal vehicles which require clear access in case of emergencies would find it impossible.
Overnight stays and illegal camping lead to not very civic and supportive attitudes that result in a deterioration of the area in terms of the proliferation of rubbish and waste in corners, gutters and even in the most visible places. The residents’ association of La Granadella considers that, after the summer months, they are “the great forgotten of Xàbia” which remain cornered in their scenic redoubt that seems to close as soon as September arrives. They fear for a gradual degradation of the environment and the consequences that this situation may have on the natural environment (and especially the coastline) that is continually claimed so much. “If we continue like this, Xàbia will lose its natural gold mine and one of its main pillars of mass tourism,” they claim.
The group has indicated that, since September, the local council has been requested to limit Avenida Tío Català to walkers and authorized people but has failed to respond. Such is the disinterest in the problem, despite the fact that the authorities have publicly expressed their intention “to fight and restrict access the cove for its protection and so that it continues to be the paradise that it always was.”
The problems of irresponsible behaviour and destructive actions that are being suffered by the residents of La Granadella can easily be solved if the local council chose to do so, since they are covered by the Xàbia Citizen Coexistence By-Law and therefore can be limited, controlled, and sanctions can even be applied if necessary.
According to the by-law, camping and overnight stays are illegal, specified in Section II, Chapter 11, Article 45 on the improper use of public space, which states that “it is prohibited to camp on roads and public spaces, including the installation associated furniture, except with authorisation in specific places. Not is it allowed to sleep day or night in these spaces“. It adds that such an offence is punishable with fines of up to 750 euros.