The mayor of Orihuela, Emilio Bascuñana, has presented objections and suggestions that the Orihuela Council is going to present to the Vega Baja Territorial Action Plan (PAT), in which he categorically announced that from Orihuela “We demand the complete removal of the PAT because it suffocates Orihuela and Vega Baja preventing their growth and development. They are condemning the region.”

Bascuñana, who was accompanied by the legal adviser of the Orihuela Council, Federico Ros, has stated that “the PAT has been prepared behind the backs of the municipalities of Vega Baja.” Since this plan affects the industrial sectors, tourism, agriculture and urban planning, “and hardly any participatory process has been carried out to enable the authors of the plan to analyse and know the real needs of our territory.”

The mayor has said that the Vega Baja Territorial Action Plan “punishes the agri-food sector, because it does not allow its activity to remain competitive.” Agriculture has to be the engine of the Region, but they do not provide solutions for water supply and neither does it consider the Tajo-Segura Transfer. Nor are hydraulic infrastructures contemplated that mitigate the effects of floods, nor communication infrastructures that improve mobility between the municipalities.

Bascuñana has also highlighted that the PAT supposes “an absolute inequality with the rest of the Valencian Community and treats us as second-class Valencians, because it limits activities that cannot be carried out in Orihuela and Vega Baja, but which can be carried out in other parts of the Valencian Community”.

For all these reasons, the mayor has said that “we will use all the instruments that we have at our disposal to prevent this plan from being imposed, but we hope that with all the suggestions that we will present, other groups and individuals will be able to rectify and rewrite this plan”.

The legal adviser of the Orihuela Council, Federico Ros, argued that “there is a clear violation of the participation of the public and private initiative, and neither does not consider the consequences and the socio-economic impact (in the case of Orihuela it amounts to about 2 billion euro) that it would generate, in addition to removing the urban planning powers of the Orihuela Council”.

As for the non-developable land of the Orihuela Municipal District, it is staged in six zones with specific uses that “have been directly applicable since December 14, 2021, when the preliminary version of the PAT was published, and it is already being carried out, so we are now going to request the suspension of the licenses and programmatic activities.

Ros concluded that “we consider that the PAT is necessary to provide security to Vega Baja, but not in these terms which are proposed at this time.”

Finally, Emilio Bascuñana confirmed that the PAT contradicts the Renhace Plan, while he has also insisted that “the Consell has created a problem in Vega Baja because it has all the municipalities against it.”