Thursday, July 05, 2007

Too much concrete will hit tourism

Saturation building on the Costa Blanca has come under criticism again this week with a  Greenpeace report which labels the construction model  as ‘unsustainable’.

The environmental pressure group’s annual investigation into the state of Spain’s coastline – entitled ‘destrucción a toda costa’ – was made public on Tuesday.

In the 48-page section dedicated to the Valencia region, the ecologists denounce that construction is the ‘principal threat for the preservation of the coast’.

Greenpeace’s investigation follows a damning report by MEPs who visited Spain in March, which spoke of  the ‘greed and avarice’, which has led to large-scale environmental destruction.

Environment minister, Cristina Narbona says that hotel owners are worried about the negative affect on tourism produced by excessive building. After all, nobody wants to spend their two weeks on a building site watching cranes operating all day.

Amongst other towns, Torrevieja is criticised for turning farm and rural land into a ‘cement and brick landscape’.

According to the report, the conversion rate in the last two decades is running at a massive 1,600 per cent.

A list has also been produced which charts illegal building in coastal municipalities.

In this Greenpeace states that 8,000 illegal homes are under judicial investigation in Orihuela.

The ecologists also pick out San Miguel de Salinas were they say there are 11 illegal development projects affecting 200 homes.

It also states that the Valencia regional government has formed a partnership with the regional mapping institute to trace illegal building.

By studying aerial photographs taken over a number of years, they will be able to identify properties built without permission.

According to Greenpeace, the regional government has started legal action, which will see bulldozers move in to demolish some of the homes within six months.

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