Old house leaves Lanzarote Cabildo with five million euro headache
An historic house bought by Lanzarote Cabildo for 1.65 million euros is proving a thorn in the authority’s side as it finds itself in a stalemate situation.
Despite descriptions to the contrary, the Casa Fajardo in calle Fajardo, Arrecife is NOT an archaeological museum and is not classified as such in the General Plan.
The property is supposed to be for residential use but major structural problems have been found in the building, making it in danger of collapse.
More than three million euros has already been spent on it but there appears to be no end to the saga, leaving the Cabildo in total exasperation.
The Casa Fajardo was acquired in 2013 and has now been paid for but according to the present Cabildo, no structural report was made before the purchase. In December, opposition councillors requeted the Cabildo to contact the Canary Islands’ Government for a grant, describing the house as an “archaeological museum” which has been refuted by council technicians.
The Cabildo says it now finds itself in a stalemate situation as the three million euros spent has not rectified the structural defects.
“On the other hand, the high level of protection of the building greatly hinders restoration and conservation projects,” said a spokesman. “The work needed basically consists of replacing the foundation of the house, as well as the concrete slabs of the front and rear areas of the residence. This situation means that this property is not only not suitable for a museum but also not for legal use: residential. In fact, it presents an increasing risk of collapse in some areas.”
President of the Island Council of Lanzarote, María Dolores Corujo is laying the blame on the previous administration.
“We have invested more than five million euros and it is not yet known what or for what,” she said. “It was a reckless purchase without assessing the real possibilities of transformation of the property.”
She said the level of housing protection is such that “the Cabildo is experiencing real difficulties to carry out the essential conservation works so that the house does not collapse.”
Calling for an apology from her predecessor, she called the purchase “a political decision that has meant the biggest extra cost in the history of the Cabildo de Lanzarote”.