Following a request by two companies, the Orihuela City Council is proposing a modification of the General Urban Development Plan (PGOU) to create the El Barranco zone, “given the amount of residential properties that there are in the area and the few services”.

The urban project is located to the right of the Ctra de Villamartín, across the AP7 motorway from Zenia Boulevard.

The Council is processing a specific modification of the PGOU to reclassify an area of non-developable land into a developable one , the E-3 “El Barranco” sector in Orihuela Costa, which it has now displayed to public information for 45 days, through its electronic headquarters, so that objections can be presented.

It is an area of ​​33,304 square meters that the promoter intends to be used for tertiary use in the surroundings of Zenia Boulevard. Specifically, the project, will have a building area just two storeys high, and will be is located between Calle Pimienta and Calle Clavo, Ctra de Villamartín and the Los Dolses urbanisation.

The modification, which must be submitted to the plenary session and then obtain the final approval of the Department of Town Planning, explains that the proposal is focused on “correcting the significant deficit” in this type of development that exists in the area “given the amount of land that is already in residential use and the few services”, so that 49% of the surface area is designated for commercial use, and 51% for the implementation of social activities, including 5% for public facilities and 10% for green areas.

The change if use is justified by “the need for commercial developments on the coast due to the high population density”.

The justification insists that tourism is “the fundamental activity, the main engine of development and source of wealth” of Orihuela Costa, so “it must better commit to a model of residential, leisure and commercial tourism development”.

This urban planning process comes after the request in June 2020 by the company Ciudad Quesada Service Station and the Real Estate Developer Espiral de Inversiones, following an environmental evaluation by the promoting companies. Last May, the Ministry issued a favourable report considering that “it will have no significant effects on the environment”. Thus, there is no evidence that there are any protected species, nor will it affect the Natura 2000 Network and fauna reserves.

Looking back towards Avda de Villamartin

However, it identifies nine conditions, among them “the scarcity of water, so follow-up reports on the availability of such resources must be provided.

The treatment of wastewater is another consideration although the proposal is viable, according to the Public company responsible for Wastewater Sanitation of the Valencian Community, but it must meet 16 additional requirements. Not surprisingly, the company once again refers to the inadequacy of the Orihuela Costa treatment.

The amended plan also includes an economic sustainability report that determines an increase in public income due to municipal taxes and fees, having “a positive impact on the municipal treasury,” although additional public expenditure will include expenses of approximately 35,000 euros per year for the maintenance of road infrastructure, green areas and public lighting.