Finca de San Rafael

Why is it important?
This property, also known as "The Minister's House" is situated next to the Parador on the "Punta del Arenal" - Arenal's rocky headland. Xàbia Town Hall has requested this property to be transfered to public ownership and earmarked for public use based on archaeological findings. The situation is complex because of the involvement of the owners, the Town Hall and the Ministry of Environment (Coasts) since the house is situated on coastal land and used under concession. The Town Hall must justify its position by April 2012.

Originally the land belonged to the Town Hall, but was ceded to the Medinaceli estate under the Chapaprieta Act of 1935. In turn, the Town Hall auctioned the property to Mª Dolores Serres, mother of Mariano Navarro-Rubio, in 1959 plus a second plot of land in 1961 (Rubio was Finance Minister under Franco between 1957 and 1965). The grouping of these two plots and the buildings on them were subject to regularisation in 1981. The Supreme court confirmed the validity of the Chapaprieta Act and the "vested rights thereunder", while the Ministry of Construction and Urban Development recognized the right to "free and permanent use" of the property.

But the new 1988 Coastal Act and its regulations (1989), states that "public property of the coastal land defined in this Act are inalienable and intractable" so that "we will not accept more rights than the use and benefit acquired in accordance with this law", even though these are" entries covered by the Land Registry . "

In addition, the 1988 Coastal Act establishes a specific regime for holders of rights in the coastal zone arising retrospectively. Specifically the grant will be renewed "for thirty years, renewable for another thirty, observing existing uses and exploitations."

The descendants of Mariano Navarro Rubio want to keep the property and extend the concession which runs through to 2018, and may request an extension for three more decades.

Public significance of the property

The house lies on important remains of a Roman fish factory and it was alleged that the family Navarro-Rubio plundered these; allegations which were denied. In reply the family said they had offered archaeological pieces to the Town Hall which had shown no interest. The Town Hall issued a denuncia with the intention of regaining the property and decided the best way was to expropriate it and tried to negotiate with the family.

In 1999 Jávea Town Hall asked Costas to expropriate the land because of its archaeological value. But nothing happened.

In 2008 it became part of a draft agreement with Costas about a Montañar development:

" Another subject of the draft agreement made during the meeting was the recuperation of the house known as "del Ministró", located in a privileged enclave at the tip of the Arenal and including an archaeological site. After negotiations resumed with the Ministry of Environment and fruitful talks held by the mayor with the family, Monfort has revealed that there is a very good predisposition on the part of the heirs of minister Mariano Navarro Rubio to give this building to Xàbia in order to make it a public space for cultural and social purposes." (See: Montanar project)

And in January 2011hoped for help help from outside sources came to nothing:

Xàbia Town Hall spends €200,000 per year on something abstract called the "Casa del Mediterráneo" (Mediterranean House). Three years ago, the municipality agreed to be co-host of this consortium, promoted by the Foreign Ministry, as the official forum for the reinforcement of ties between Mediterranean countries. Xàbia signed an agreement in which it would provide 5% of the budget, with the hope that the the consortium would help to expropriate the "Minister's House" (at the tip of the Javea Parador promontary) as a possible location for activities. The owners of the house had apparently been willing to agree to the expropriation. However, as reported by Councillor Oscar Anton, it seems that although the other stakeholders, Alicante and Benidorm, hadn't paid their shares, the "Casa del Mediterráneo" is investing its money in facilities there, namely in Benalua station, Alicante and the old fisherman's house in Benidorm. In addition the Ministry of the Environment has no intention of helping to procure the "Minister's House" . Xàbia's 2011 budget includes another €200,000 for this consortium, though the mayor admitted they were thinking of leaving. The only tiny plus so far has been Xàbia's logo on the Casa del Mediterráneo website ( and publicity materials.

More Complications
There are a number of irregularities in the registration of the property:
a) Until 2010 it shared a property registration number with the Parador Hotel (constructed in 1963). This was rectified
b) The registered land area is 6,680m2, but the perimeter fencing encloses 7684.93m2. However, subtracting the land ceded for public use in the building of Canal de la Fontana leaves 5992.42m2. According to Costas this situation needs to be rectified by requesting a new survey. This was requested by the owners in November 2011

From XAD: La familia...

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