Justice demolishes luxury apartments in Sariya Park

Justice demolishes luxury apartments in Sariya Park

BarcelonaLegal setback for Barcelona City Council. The Supreme Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) ruled in favor of the residents of Sarria and invalidated the municipal planning approved in 2020 that allowed the construction of luxury apartments in the Can Raventus farm park. Although the ruling can still be appealed, residents are celebrating their victory as “final.” “We are the little Davids who managed to defeat Goliath,” celebrates Natalia Putinas, from the Defendm Can Raventós platform.

Can Raventós is a farmhouse built in 1848 and is listed in the city’s catalog of protected heritage at level C. The ongoing project plans to build up to 59 floors while preserving the farmhouse and erecting two new buildings in the park. It is a project promoted by the developer BeCorp, which has already started construction and which has already announced homes with more than 1,100 meters of common space – part of the existing park – or a gym and co-working space.

In its ruling, the court considered that the project “undoubtedly” violates the capital’s general plan for heritage protection, because it does not respect the obligation to leave a free space of 10 meters around the farm despite it being a protected element. For this reason, the private plan was invalidated and the city council and estate were obligated to bear the costs of the trial.

Now residents are calling on the city council – which they hope to meet soon – not to “allocate one public euro” to appeal the ruling and open a negotiation process with the estate to find a solution to the impasse. In this sense, the Defendm Can Raventós platform has once again put on the table a proposal that has already been defended in the past and which would involve the exchange of spaces so that apartments would be created elsewhere in the city and the garden would be open to the neighborhood and the house, recovered as equipment. “So far we have been told that everything is legal. Now the city council has a tool at hand to be able to make the property understand that the matter is illegal and that a solution must be found,” defends Butinas.

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City Council sources confirmed that they will not file an appeal against the ruling. The same sources explain that once the urban planning that made apartment building possible fell, it was now up to the estate to move the tables and determine its approach going forward. They now avoid talking about reparations or any kind of compensation.

Anti-fraud call to action

The TSJC ruling is not the first setback that the Barcelona City Council has suffered at the expense of Can Raventós, the urban planning project that was approved in plenary by a vote in favor of Barcelona en Comú, the PSC, the People’s Party and the councilors. For Manuel Valls – who greatly celebrated the vote on his networks – the only vote was against Esquerra.

Last November, the Anti-Fraud Office already published a report on the case in which it urged the City Council to justify the decisions it makes in urban planning matters more comprehensively, as well as to review the mechanisms for detecting potential conflicts of interest, as it considered that in the case of Raventus, there was a “conflict.” Clear interests with municipal officials were not managed properly.” However, he explained that “no signs of undue influence were observed in the procedure.”

If victory is finally confirmed and the construction of these apartments is postponed, part of the work will be to restore the park. Works have now stopped due to the possibility of archaeological remains, but demolition work inside the farm had already begun as well as damage to part of the garden that had been torn up and will now have to be restored. However, the massive canary pine that neighbors saw cut down last August 16 and that will forever remain the fallen symbol of the neighborhood’s struggle with a happy ending, is not coming back.

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