The Supreme Administrative Court has ruled that the Calheta Beach Hotel, belonging to Bertie´s pal, Madeira's biggest contstructor, Avelino Farinha, has been built illegaly. The hotel, opened in 2004, may now have to be demolished.
The building was in fact never licensed at all! Calheta Municipality, which had contested the decision, claims that since the City Council did not decide on whether to approve the project within thirty days of the project having been submitted, it was automatically tacitly approved... Wonderful! So who in the City Council could be held accountable for illegalities?
The project also raised questions of the use of Public Maritime Domain, since it built within 50 meters of the sealine and site was only licensed for use as a restaurant for a five year period, which has since ended.
But Avelino continues to be in Bertie's good books. Last week, his company AFA won a government cotract for regularising the stream in Ribeira Brava, for 59 million Euros, while the two rival bidders had put in tenders averaging 40 million.