The National Court annuls the demarcation of the public maritime land domain.


The Contentious-Administrative Chamber admits the appeal of a community of neighbors who feared losing part of their garden and swimming pool.

EUGENIO CABEZAS. In judicial and administrative contexts, on very rare occasions, David beats Goliath. This is what has happened with a community of property owners of an apartment building in Nerja, located on the cliff of Carabeillo beach, which has just won the lawsuit filed against the Ministry of Environment for the demarcation of the maritime-terrestrial public domain carried out by the Coastal Demarcation between 2008 and 2011.

According to a ruling from the Administrative Litigation Chamber of the National Court, accessed by this newspaper, the demarcation carried out is null and void.

Additionally, the administration defendant in this case, the Ministry of Environment, is ordered to pay the costs incurred. The judicial ruling not only applies to the community of property owners but also refers to the stretch from the Torrecilla headland to the easternmost end of Burriana beach, totaling 2,526 meters.

In practice, the decision of the National Court, which is responsible for adjudicating lawsuits of individuals against the public administration when the administrative route is exhausted, as was the case here, entails the demarcation of almost the entire urban area of Nerja, except for the strip of El Chuco beach, west of La Torrecilla beach, which is only about 300 meters long.

In the remaining area, there are dozens of houses, private and communal gardens, hotels, and other infrastructures that now lack a specific demarcation with respect to the maritime


The ruling of the National Court not only annuls the latest demarcation of 2011 but also renders ineffective the previous one dating back to 1966. In both cases, it does so for two fundamental reasons: due to a procedural defect, as not all plot owners were correctly notified, and secondly, due to the expiration of the deadlines set by the central administration in the procedure.

As the two extensions of the twelve-month deadline agreed upon in the demarcation procedure under review are unwarranted, it is appropriate to declare its expiration. The demarcation procedure was initiated by resolution dated January 14, 2008, and had expired when the demarcation order was issued on December 1, 2011, leading to its annulment before the Supreme Court.

Although there is still a legal deadline for it, as the ruling was signed on November 11th, the lawyer representing the residents of the building in Nerja, Dolores de Aynat, does not believe that the Ministry will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court. “The most likely thing to happen and what they will have to do now is to process everything again but adhering well to the deadlines and legal procedures,” she said, expressing her satisfaction with this victory against the Ministry. “It is not easy to win a lawsuit against the authorities, and in this case, after a lot of struggle, we have succeeded,” the lawyer considered.

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