The association Salvemos Cala Mosca has taken the builder to court in an attempt to stop the construction of 2,200 tourist homes planned along the last unspoilt kilometre of the coast of Orihuela, and this week they will request precautionary measures to stop the works, which the promoter resumed on April 24 after 16 years in which they were paralysed by the administration because of protected species of flora and fauna.
The project has caused absolute rejection amongst neighborhood and environmental groups. It has seen more than a decade of litigation by various organizations, including progressive municipal groups within the Orihuela City Council.
This citizen platform, which was established a year and a half ago, considers that the urban plan is “an environmental outrage”. It has organized several demonstrations against “coastal speculation” and has demanded more services – “more people equal fewer resources, more insecurity and traffic jams” – during which time it has collected more than 3,500 signatures against the project that it has sent to the European Parliament.
In addition, it has carried out a campaign to raise funds for the legal defence of the environment, because “there are legal reasons to stop this urban barbarism,” it argues.
The last local government board made up by PSOE and Citizens, prior to the municipal elections, which saw it replaced by PP and Vox, dealt with the final approval of the modification of the project. This was the last administrative procedure that remained pending.
Only a few days later the builder restarted the works, despite irregularities, according to Cambiemos, and although there is an administrative dispute in the Superior Court of Justice of the Valencian Community, which could declare the project null.
At the same time, the Ministry of Climate Emergency had sent a letter to the City Council in which it insisted on two reports from the builder for Wastewater Sanitation (EPSAR), which is binding and of which the local administration and the promoter are aware, warning that the urbanization and building works should not be restarted without guaranteeing the works to improve the public sanitation and purification system of Orihuela Costa.
This is not the first time that preventive measures have been requested. In March of last year the Demarcation of State Roads of the Valencian Community also did so, although this was rejected by the TSJ. However, it did not go into the substance of the matter.
Meanwhile, the promoter has defended the fact that he has resumed the works “after having complied with all the environmental requirements requested by the competent authorities”, said the construction company, which insisted that the project has been modified to adapt to all the demands of environmental protection: “Improvements have been included that scrupulously comply with the provisions of the Environmental Impact Statement,” a spokesman added.
Thus, the promoter, in order to continue with the project, has had to cede to the administration 60,000 square meters destined to expand the micro reserve of flora in the sector.
Recently, Cala Mosca has been awarded a Black Flag by Ecologists in Action for mismanagement for having granted the permits. The organization explains in its report, that for about 20 years there have been plans to urbanize this last stronghold of virgin coast, in “an area that is overexploited urbanistically and with a great deficit of public services and infrastructures, including public transport.
” It points out that “the City Council is not able to properly manage this lack of resources”, while the residents do not want further construction, which would imply more saturation, shortages and traffic jams on the N-332 road.