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2002 News Archive: (Please note - Vera Natura and its various facilities has reopened and is operating normally in 2003)

Bahia de vera President to finish the job: Francisco Clemente, President of the Community of Owners of the Bahia de Vera residential urbanisation, has listened to the pleas of fellow owners and has withdrawn his resignation. He concludes an emotional e-mail to Bahia de Vera owners by saying "with the last resolution that we approved, we already have the guarantee that nobody in the future (nor in the present) is going to be able to take even one cent from the Community, but there are many things that I want still to do and for that reason I have decided to take a step ahead (that is not just to give reverse gear to my decision) and to continue with my work, as president of the community. But don't forget that this is something that we are constructing between all of us, and although one ant cannot do anything, many can move a mountain."

Fran's decision will surely be welcomed by the majority of owners, who have appreciated the difference his leadership has already made to the running of Bahia de Vera. This is the second time in the last year that he has resigned and then been persuaded to carry on. If the owners and Governing Body fail to support him in the future so that he feels compelled to resign a third time, they must expect that his talents and commitment will be lost for sure.

18 December 2002 - news item www.VeraPlaya.info   © 2002

BAHIA DE VERA COMMUNITY PRESIDENT RESIGNS: Following last Saturday's Extraordinary Meeting of the Community of Owners of Bahia de Vera, President Fran Clemente has tendered his resignation. In an e-mail to Bahia de Vera owners he says that he was very disappointed that no other members of the Governing Body spoke to support what he had to say about the need for a change in the Community's Rules to prevent any member of the Governing Body, or any family member or company with which they were associated, from benefitting from payment or contracts. This change had had to be introduced following alleged attempts by one member to secure such benefits for a member of his family. It followed close on the heels of previous dissatisfaction with the conduct of the former President of the Community who is alleged to have paid unauthorised sums to himself and his wife from the Community's funds.

The decision of the President has caused renewed consternation amongst many Bahia de Vera owners who regard Fran Clemente and most of his collegues on the Governing Body as whiter-than-white pro-probity campaigners who have not only cleaned up a drift towards corrupt practices within the conduct of the Community's financial affairs, but have also got a grip on the running of the urbanizacion so that at long last there have been improvements during recent months in the faciltiies and the standard of grounds and gardens maintenance. In fact, the main purpose of the Extraordinary Meeting was to approve further improvements.

Fran Clemente's decision to resign has caused a flurry of e-mails to the Community's Yahoo! Group urging him to reconsider and stay on. One member compared the lack of speakers in support of the President's words on the proposed reform as not a personal offence to the President but the action of sheep "hoping that no wolve is coming to eat them" and that they are "egomaniac and not thinking for the community. They only want a perfect holiday place and forget that it is their money too which is wasted. As I said - sheep."

This is the second occasion on which Fran Clemente has been sufficiently upset by the lack of clear support for him that he has proposed resignation. The prospect that he is again set to do so will fill many owners with gloom as history tells us that when a virtuous leader is driven to stand down their place is usually taken by people with less high standards, and everyone stands to lose as a consequence. The irony is that the Community voted unanimously to support the reforms at the Extraordinary Meeting!

Webmaster's Comment: The moral of this tale is not that there is corruption, dissent and politicking in one of the urbanizacions at Vera Playa, but that this is democracy in action - the Spanish system of democratically run Communities of Owners does allow individual owners to participate in the management of the urbanizacion in a way which the equivalent British system, which is often controlled by a private company with no accountability to the owners of apartments in a collective development, does not. Of course, as the Bahia de Vera owner quoted above implies, owners must not close their eyes to the fact that Vera Playa is part of the real world not just a piece of paradise.

13 December 2002 - news item www.VeraPlaya.info   © 2002

 


VERA NATURA FACILITIES TO REOPEN THIS WEEKEND: Today (Thursday 5th December), the reception facilities at Vera Natura are reopened. Vivien, the Belgian receptionist who has worked for the old management at Vera Natura for many years is busy stock checking the Supermarket in preparation for reopening tomorrow. Vivien also reliably informs me that the Chiringuito (beach bar) will also be reopened this weekend although it may take a little longer to get the restaurant back into operation. Vivien, known to most visitors to Vera Natura, is to be re-employed by the new Company, a consortium of four Spanish businessmen, three local and one Restaurateur from Madrid. She also reassured me that the Chiringuito would remain naturist.

Peter Mason, Vera Playa

5 December 2002 - news item Peter Mason & www.VeraPlaya.info   © 2002

STOP PRESS! Peter confirms that all the facilities, which were closed following the financial collapse (and flight) of the previous concessionaire, have now re-opened - Reception Office/Apartments Letting Agency, Supermarket, Chiringuito beach café/bar and (Monday 9 December) restaurant.

8 December 2002 - news item Peter Mason & www.VeraPlaya.info   © 2002


Peng Travel drops Vera Natura from 2003 brochure: The UK's largest naturist holiday company, Peng Travel, has dropped Vera Natura from its new 2003 brochure which is dropping through client's letterboxes today. In a covering letter, Director Peter Englert says: "Sadly, Vera Natura has closed indefinitely in November 2002; it has lost all the facilities needed by holidaymakers (as opposed to permanent residents): reception, supermarket, restaurants, bar, disco-pub, fitness centre, volleyball and mini-golf. We are keeping an eye on the situation and hope that the resort will recover before long. Meanwhile we have increased our allocation of self-catering studios and apartments at the neighbouring Hotel Vera Playa Club and negotiated more favourable rates there. Of course, the Hotel Vera Playa Club offers 4-star standards, a wide range of facilities within the grounds and restaurants both within and outside. And the fine beach is just the same!"

Comment by www.veraplaya.info: Peng Travel's action was probably inevitable. Of course, it will be unfortunate if people make the mistake of assuming that because Peng is not running holidays to Vera Natura it is not possible to go on holiday either to Vera Natura or elsewhere at Vera Playa (Many people do not realise that in terms of units of accommodation both Vera Natura and the Hotel Vera Playa Club are now just a small minority - around 20% between them). There are plenty of apartments to rent at Vera Playa - new and nearly new luxury apartments at Bahia de Vera, Parque Vera, Torremar Natura and La Menara and older but perfectly good apartments at Natsun and Vera Luz and soon luxury apartments at Armoni Natura - and apartments at Vera Natura! Look at the apartments to rent page on this website. At the risk of being a bit controversial we could suggest that the ambience of Vera Natura may be nicer without so many short-stay holidaymakers - that's what some owners have found in the past month or two!

3 December 2002 - news item www.VeraPlaya.info   © 2002

Note - Peng issued a supplement to their brochure after the Vera Natura facilities reopened in December 2002.


Package Tour Company gets it wrong: German naturist package holiday company Obona has, apparently, been telling prospective clients that Vera Playa is closed. No doubt this is due to the fact that, at least for the moment, holiday companies running package tours to Vera Playa have stopped taking clients to the Vera Natura urbanizacion at Vera Playa because the company which ran the restaurant and reception office and supermarket has gone bust. And, of course, as it is now technically "winter" (though you would hardly know it), the Vera Playa Hotel, which has many package tour visitors, is now closed until the Spring. However Vera Natura and, indeed, the Vera Playa Club Hotel, now constitute a small proportion of the Vera Playa naturist zone - around 20% - and many visitors are staying at the other urbanizacions and, indeed, at Vera Natura itself - many have booked direct with the private owners of apartments and others have booked with package holiday companies such as It's Natural.

An unexpected side-effect of the temporary cessation of package holidays to the Vera Natura urbanizacion has been that permanent residents and other property owners are finding it much quieter and more pleasant without the short-term visitors - more like the urbanizacions such as Bahia de Vera which are residential in ambience.

18 November 2002 - news item www.VeraPlaya.info   © 2002


Vera Natura Crisis Deepens: The situation following the disappearance of the boss of the Vera Natura catering, supermarket and property letting enterprises is slowly emerging:
Supermarket
- The Vera Natura supermarket is currently still open but seems only to be selling existing stocks and is expected to close by the end of October or probably sooner (With the recent closure of the Natsun Spar this means that there is likely to be no supermarket open during the winter months in the naturist zone, which will be a big problem for owners and visitors without transport of their own). A bread van is calling at Vera Natura at 0900hrs each morning and selling bread from the van directly to customers. The supermarket in hotel street is open until the hotel closes for the season at the end of October, but after that the nearest supermarket is GOVISA at the new Puerto Rey Commercial Centre, or El Minuto at Las Bugainvillas.
Restaurant/bar: The Vera Natura Chiringuito bar and restaurant is now closed and barred. There are signs up saying it is being The Vera Natura Chiringuito - beach bar/restaurant - October 2002 - copyright RJT 2002'reformed'. Visitors to Vera Natura who have no transport, and especially those who came on half or full pension terms, now have nowhere to eat. Most, if not all, are now being sent by their package tour operators to the Vera Playa Club Hotel, but the hotel closes for the season at the end of October so that option will no longer be available in November and, probably, through the winter period.
Benito has said that we will keep his bar/cafe open after the Vera Playa Club Hotel closes for the season at the end of October - but evenings only - and probably until the end of November. At least one of the other restaurants in Hotel Street may do the same.
Apartments letting:
The Vera Natura reception office is now closed and barred. People on package holidays etc already at Vera Natura will be able to stop until the end of their holiday but no new visitors are being dealt with - it is understood that package holiday operators are making alternative arrangements, relocating their clients to the hotel or to apartments managed by other agents and/or apartments in other urbanizacions. We understand that a property letting enterprise set up by some owners at Vera Natura is already in existence and also that various parties are bidding to take over the Reception Office business. It is still not clear how much money is owed and to how many owners by the failed letting agency but substantial sums may be owed to some owners.

October 9 and 18 2002 - news item www.VeraPlaya.info   © 2002

Latest update (22 November 2002): The supermarket is closed, as is the Reception Office - the staff worked on until all visitors had left, despite not being paid - so full marks for dedicated service! No new package holiday visitors are being sent to Vera Natura and, as a result, the urbanizacion has, according to some of the resident owners, now got a much more residential ambience - much to their liking. It is understood that a party has made a proposal to take over the restaurant/chiringuito and the property letting agency/reception office concessions. Nothing is known about a successor operator for the Vera Natura supermarket. Meanwhile, having access to a car has become even more of a necessity for visitors to any of the Vera Playa urbanizacions - it's a long walk to shops and restaurants at the moment, though doubtless by next spring all will be resolved.

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NATURIST ZONE TO CROSS MAIN ROAD: The developers of two of the largest Naturist communities in Vera Playa, "Bahia de Vera" and "Torremar Natura" are now planning to build a 600 home Naturist Village just across the main coast road on the slopes of the hill/mountain immediately overlooking Vera Playa - construction is expected to commence in 2003. This will be the first expansion of the naturist zone, and the first development on the western side of the main road. It is not known whether naturists will be able to cross the main road "au naturel" on their way to the beach. However, one of the present naturist urbanizacions currently under construction (Torremar Natura) will have apartments built right up to and adjoining the main road, so the sight of naked residents will become commonplace to passing motorists - it is to be hoped that the surprise will not constitute a road safety hazard, though this seems unlikely given the ready acceptance local people seem to have given to the massive naturist developments at Vera Playa.

October 3 2002 and updated 22 November 2002 - news item P.Mason & www.VeraPlaya.info   © 2002

COUNCIL ANNOUNCES DEVELOPMENT PLANS: It is reported that Vera Council has considered an outline report proposing the development of 20,000 additional apartments and 9 new hotels at Vera Playa over the next 20 years. A detailed feasability study has been commissioned. As far as is known all the proposed development would be textile and no additional naturist zones are proposed. Development of this scale will put enormous pressure on the "official" naturist beach which the Council has already attempted to shorten by more than a half. One of the new hotels is likely to be the new Playa Hoteles hotel to be built next to the existing Vera Playa Club Hotel on land presently occupied by the naturist and textile campsite. It is understood that the new hotel will be textile and so this will, effectively, shorten the naturist beach by a small amount at its northern end in addition to the shortening which has already been triggered by the building of new textile developments adjacent to the southern half of the original naturist beach.

September 2002 - news item www.VeraPlaya.info   © 2002

Vera Playa loses its innocence as crime catches up with it: A spate of burglaries and other crimes has hit Vera Playa. The latest incidents include an audacious day-time "cat burglary" in which an intruder climbed an apartment block to the rear terrace of an upper apartment and gained entry through a patio door where the roller shutter and window had been left slightly open for ventilation. The intruder broke open a locked cupboard but was then foiled by the return of the apartment owner. Neighbours had noticed a "naturist", carrying a red towel which seemed to be concealing something, hanging about in the vicinity for about an hour earlier the same afternoon, but it is not certain that this person was the "cat burglar".

Vera Playa is in the centre of a massive property development explosion along the coast from Mojacar to Villaricos - perhaps not surprisingly, the greatly increased numbers of properties present opportunities for both opportunist and more organised crime. Much petty burglary is for money, jewellry, credit cards etc to feed drug habits. Although crime rates are still very low at Vera Playa - probably lower than in many British towns, cities and beach resorts, it is, unfortunately, no longer justified to say, as people used to, that there is no crime and everyone can be trusted so no need to drop shutters, close windows or lock doors when going to the pool to swim, etc. Even if the miscreants are not actually resident in the urbanizacion where the offences take place, it is easy for someone with enough nerve to slip into one of the closed urbanizacioins behind someone who has a key. Few of the Vera Playa properties have the traditional barred windows which are traditional in Spanish properties, but recent problems are likely to cause many owners to install them.

Vera Playa Club Hotel has introduced uniformed security guards to patrol the hotel and its grounds and several of the urbanizacions in the Puerto Rey area also have security guards patrolling day and night. The time may come when the urbanizacions in the naturist zone will have to consider similar measures. Meanwhile the message must be - never leave your hotel room or apartment less than fully secured - which means: windows closed and locked, roller shutters completely down and entrance doors fully locked.

September 3 2002 - news item www.VeraPlaya.info   © 2002

 

Vera Council attempts to reduce length of naturist beach:
The new 'beach gardens' marking the Council boundary to the naturist beach near Vera Natura. Photo: Peter Mason August 2002The latest somewhat bizarre episode in Vera Council's efforts to reduce the length of the official naturist beach at Vera Playa includes the conversion of the so-called 'Berlin Wall' or 'Muro de Vera' made of large rocks across the beach in the vicinity of Vera Natura and Playa de Baria, into gardens on the beach. In addition one new sign erected in late July indicating the end boundary of the naturist area has now been superceded by four such signs and, in a further twist, local police have been posted at the 'new Gardens of Vera' although it is not known what purpose this was supposed to serve.

The origins of this action lie in the wishes of Vera Council and the developers of the various textile developments between the Naturist Zone and Puerto Rey to the south of Vera Playa that the beach should be textile and not naturist. This long length of beach which bordered undeveloped land until now has long been used as naturist and up until three or four years ago there The short-lived 'Muro de Vera' marking the Council's southern boundary to the naturist beach, July 2002. Photo: Peter Masonwere signs effectively establishing its status as naturist to a point near where the large Vera Mar textile development now stands. The beach in front of the naturist developments is not affected by the shortening, but the beach beyond the naturist developments, to the south, for a distance of between one and two kilometres has, in efect, been declared as 'non-naturist'

A protest campaign has been under way for some weeks now - and this website has supported the Presidents of the naturist comunities at Vera Playa in advocating all property owners and visitors to write to Vera Council making their views about the shortening of the beach known. As the campaign has gathered pace, it has been claimed that (a) under the Spanish Constitution it is not illegal simply to be naked on any beach or other public place and that therefore (it is claimed) it is unconstitutional for Vera Council to seek to deny this right to users of this beach and (b) it is claimed that Vera Council has no jurisdiction over the beach which it is said comes under the auspices of an Authority for the Coasts.

So, Vera Council and/or its Mayor seem to be set on defining a much reduced length of naturist beach and have undertaken several physical works in order to establish the new boundary. The Spanish naturist community is up in arms about this and the protest campaign is also becoming increasingly international. It has been suggested that there is the possibility of refering the issue to the European Court of Human Rights.

As positions polarise, it seems that little thought has been given to the propensity of Spanish people to enjoy beaches in a naturist way whenever possible - even if they are not committed naturists in terms of general lifestyle. Indeed, this website suspects that many of the new owners of property in and visitors to the new textile urbanizacions will want to be naturist to swim and sunbathe, etc on the beach and the declared restriction of the beach to 'textile' use will not be to their liking.

Whether or not the Vera Playa naturist community ultimately prevails in this matter, it seems likely that facing this common adversity has already brought the ruling bodies of the several separate residential comunities closer together and developing a common sense of identity oir citizenship of the Vera Playa naturst village is a commendable goal in itself.

If you wish to suport the protest campaign by e-mailing or writing to Vera Council please visit our Beach Protest page where there is more information and a suggested model letter - click here.

August 15 2002 - Photos Peter Mason & news item www.VeraPlaya.info   © 2002

 

Hotel Vera Playa Club suffers more damage from heavy seas:
Full moon on 28 March 2002 brought exceptionally heavy seas once again to Vera Playa. And, as before, it was the Hotel Vera Playa Club, which is built closer by far to the sea than any other development at Vera Playa, which suffered the consequences.It is only a matter of a couple of weeks since the damage wrought by last November's high seas was finally repaired. This latest incident has brought damage to some of the same parts of the hotel's sea frontage. This time the covered pool escaped - possibly because the full height windows had been replaced by solid walls to the lower part.Hotel Vera Playa Club's beach frontage showing sea damage - 3 April 2002 - photo Peter MasonHotel Vera Playa Club's beach frontage showing sea damage - 3 April 2002 - photo Peter Mason But the steps from the dining terrace to the beach are no more and it is evident that the whole dining terrace has been undermined by the waves. It will be interesting to see whether major works to remedy this undermining are carried out - as they will surely need to be - or whether sand is simply bull-dozed from other parts of the beach to replace the missing hotel beach. Any such limited action is doomed to failure as the power of a high sea is so great and, with changing weather patterns (possibly caused by global warming), severe weather and heavy seas may be becoming a more common occurence in the Mediterranean. Last week's heavy seas were followed almost immediately by the tropical storm which caused 6 deaths and great devastation to Santa Cruz capital of Tenerife - giving Vera Playa a close on two day deluge. The area has suffered severe drought for around 3 years, but several recent deluges should now be evening up the score a little!
(Photos show hotel beach frontage on 3 April 2002)

April 3 2002 - Photo and News item Peter Mason & www.VeraPlaya.info   © 2002

 

Community sues developer over botched repair work:Bahia de Vera's indoor swimming pool before recent repair work
 
Francisco Clemente Commendador, President of the Community of the Bahia de Vera urbanicazion has issued a writ against developers Mare Nostrum because of botched repair work to the urbanizacion's indoor pool. The repair work was to repaint the structural elements whose original plastic protective coating had extensively peeled off. The Community required the developer of the urbanizacion, Mare Nostrum SL to undertake the remedial work, but had stipulated that it must not happen until after Easter when there will be a large number of owners and visitors staying for the holiday period. Mare Nostrum, however, sent in their contractors early in March who, when they finished their work last week, left the pool unusable due to peeled paint flakes and other debris floating in and at the bottom of the water. The painters had also turned off the purification system with the result that the pool is now polluted with green algae. The Community's writ, entered at Vera Court House last weekend says that the cost of cleaning up the pool will be 6000 Euros.
(Photo shows pool before recent repainting work started)

March 27 2002 - Photo and News item www.VeraPlaya.info   © 2002

STOP PRESS: The reputation of developers Mare Nostrum as being a "listening company" has been restored. A summit meeting was held on Saturday 30 March between Community President Francisco Clemente Commendador and Mare Nostrum's boss before an Extraordinary meeting of all owners present on site at Easter. The builders conceded to all points and the bar will now be completed and become a community centre for owner/tenants only. More car parking is also to be provided. Repair work is also in hand in the pools - it is expected that specialist contractors will start work tomorrow to clean up the damaged/polluted indoor pool.

April 1 2002 - News item www.VeraPlaya.info   © 2002

STOP PRESS: 15 April 2002 - The Extraordinary Meeting of the Bahia de Vera Owners' Community on Saturday 13 April backed the package agreement negotiated by the Community's President with Mare Nostrum's boss. Work is well on with the repair of both swimming pools and retiling has taken place - the pools are expected to be refilled and be back in operation very shortly now. Work has already started in expanding the number of free parking places in the urbanicazion. Most important of all, the fact that the Community now has control of the building shell which was to have become a restaurant and bar and is now to become a resource purely for the Bahia de Vera community as a Social Hall and Meeting Place with a Gymnasium underneath, will secure the position of Bahia de Vera as the most residencial and quietest of the developments at Vera Playa, which can only enhance the long term standing of the urbanicazion.

ÚLTIMA HORA: 15 de abril de 2.002. La reunión Extraordinaria de la Comunidad de propietarios Residencial Bahía de Vera el sábado 13 de abril ratificó el acuerdo firmado entre el Presidente de la Comunidad y el Gerente de Mare Nostrum. Los trabajos de reparación de TODAS las piscinas se están llevando a cabo y acabarán en un muy corto periodo de tiempo. Tambien se han comenzado los trabajos de ampliación de las plazas de aparcamiento libres en la urbanización. Y lo más importante de todo, el hecho de que la Comunidad toma el control del edificio que en principio iba a ser un bar-restaurante y que se convertirá en un Local Social y de reuniones, con gimnasio en el sotado de uso exclusivo de los propietarios, lo que asegura la posición de la Comunidad "Bahía de Vera" como la más residencial y tranquila de las existentes en la playa de Vera, lo que en definitiva, revaloriza considerablemente la Urbanización.

April 15 2002 - News item www.VeraPlaya.info   © 2002

Council promises action on streets:Street outside Vera Natura reception
 
This website has been informed that Vera Council has promised to take action to clear and clean up the streets within the naturist area at Vera Playa before Easter 2002. Although most streets are paved, with pedestrians pavements and trees and shrubs planted, they are currently in a deplorable condition due to the deposit of mud from building sites, litter and debris and general lack of care and maintenance - a stark contrast to the clean and tidy appearance of the urbanizacions within the naturist area. The main problem has seemed to be that the Council would not accept responsibility until all the developments are completed and the company responsible for the development area as a whole (Indalsur) seems to have done nothing to look after the streets.

March 10 2002 - Photo and News item www.VeraPlaya.info   © 2002

The new lagoon is no more!:
Intensive work in late February and early March 2002 has restored the beach at the Hotel Vera Playa Club. November's severe storm eroded the beach and a lagoon had formed in front of the hotel. Thousands of tons of sand have been moved to restore the normal sandy beach in front of the hotel in time for the hotel's reopening on 22 March.

March 10 2002 - News item www.VeraPlaya.info   © 2002

New Lagoon:New lagoon where the hotel's beach should beSand removed from the dining terrace of the Vera Playa Club Hotel
November's severe storm left a legacy not only of damage but also of erosion of the naturist beach. So much of the beach has been thrown up towards the back of the beach that at some states of the tide a lagoon now forms. Thousands of tons of sand will need to be moved to restore the beach in front of the hotel, where the beach is normally quite narrow and is currently even narrower. The erosion has brought into sight concrete footings which may predate the hotel buildings and be part of the desalination plant built by the American government as compensation for the damage caused by 4 H-bombs accidentally dropped nearby (see our history page). Our second picture shows the pile of sand removed from the dining terrace and indoor pool, both of which were inundated by the storm. Repair and restoration work has already started and is expected to run through March until the hotel's reopening on 22 March.

February 2002 - Photo and news item www.VeraPlaya.info   © 2002

To access our archive of news from Vera Playa for other years, click on the appropriate year: 2005,  2004,   2003,   2001


If you have news from, about or affecting Vera Playa it can appear on this page - please contact "mail" at "veraplaya.info".
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