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Carvoeiro's old casino to be demolished

carvoeirobeachThe decision to remove the old casino in Carvoeiro was taken by Lagoa council which has awarded the demolition contract to Protectrilho, Lda., at a cost of €83,950.

As this ruin is privately owned and is close to collapse, the council demanded that the owner have the structure knocked down and the site cleared.

The council’s edict was ignored and the ruin remained.

The council now has stepped in and commissioned the casino’s demolition as it considers the building in danger of collapse and hence, a potential threat to the safety of the public as the property is on Rua do Casino a busy secondary street and may collapse at any time.

Before any ratepayers complain about the bill, this will be presented to the property’s owners and, if it is not settled, the council will pursue them through the court or have the site auctioned off to recover the expenditure.

An option that the council seems not to have explored is to require the owner to bring the property up to a safe and habitable standard.

Should the same process be employed by Olhão council as in Lagoa, many of the city centre buildings that are in a state of terminal decline, would have to be demolished unless owners are given the opportunity to make them habitable.

Already Olhão council’s mayor, António Pina, has worked with Finanças and EDP to identify owners of derelict properties and has sent notices to owners stating that, unless someone is occupying the targeted properties and services are connected and being used, the IMI rates bills will rise by 300%.

This move has failed to have a significant effect and the city is pockmarked by disused buildings in poor states of repair that are neither for sale, nor scheduled for renovation.

One historic building near Olhão’s post office, collapsed last winter, to the owner’s delight as he had sabotaged the structure to allow rainwater into the traditional compacted rubble walls. The property had to be demolished and the owner could be instructed by the council to replace the building as it was, when it was built 80 to 100 years ago.

The demolition of classic old buildings in Olhão, that owners claim are beyond repair, is an easy way for builders and property developers to avoid any awkward questions about historic buildings. The town halls’ urban planning department, still run by Ditza Reis as she awaits trial on charges of failing to secure adequate compensation when the Real Marina hotel site was acquired, is modernist, preferring shiny new hotels rather than the sensitive renovation of historic buildings – should they fall down then the builders seem to have little problem in gaining planning permission for new builds.

Lagoa council has shown what can be done when an eyesore becomes a dangerous structure but lacks the political will to compel the casino owners to repair and maintain their asset. When the casino is gone, planning permission easily may be obtained for a new building in its place, whcih is probably what the owners wanted all along.

Among the earliest foreigners who settled in Carvoeiro was the Irish painter Patrick Swift.

Swift writes in 'Algarve: a Portrait and a Guide (1965),' (Patrick Swift and David Wright) “The Casino with its arches and fancy entrance still stands unused for nearly 30 years and it has seen many a heavy night’s gambling and even a few bankruptcies.”

 

CarvoeiroCasino

The old casino in Carvoeiro, in Rua do Casino, up from the Post Office on the RHS

Comments  

0 #1 Derek Dickinson 2017-10-17 16:36
The problem is not so simple here as the casino has more than one owner, in fact it has dozens of owners as it was (or still is) a co-operative (so I believe) and some of the owners, or their heirs, are untraceable. I believe that Mr João Trinidade of the nearby guesthouse, O Castelo, tried to contact the owners years ago, but was not able to find them all.
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