On the 10th April 2006, the mayor of Bigastro at that time, José Joaquín Moya approved a special plan for the construction of a solar farm in the public park, La Pedrera. On the same day he went ahead and granted a licence to Eurener to build the solar farm; no other company was given the chance to bid for this work. On the 16th November, heavy machinery arrived and started to plough up the land in preparation for construction.
When the Servicio de Protección a la Naturaleza de la Guardia Civil (Seprona) complained to the CIty Council several days later, Moya signed a decree suspending the licence for the work. By this time though, much of the local flora along with pine trees had already been destroyed.
In order for this work to go ahead on non urbanizable land, there had to be a declaration of community interest and a declaration of environmental impact approved by the Generalit. The City Council and Eurener therefore sent the file to the Valencian Autonomous Government for approval and they turned the plan down.
Also implicated in this affair was the municipal technician who, according to the public prosecutor, should have been aware that what was being undertaken was contrary to the norms of city- planning – in fact illegal.
In relation to this issue, the Anti-corruption public prosecutor for the Vega Baja, Pablo Romero is seeking a prison sentence of 15 months for the ex mayor and a ban on him holding public office for nine years.
There are other on-going investigations related to city-planning irregularities involving both the current mayor and the ex-mayor: the exchange of land in a green zone to allow factory units to be built, the installation of gas tanks in an area designated as park land and the authorisation to auction rustic land to build an aparthotel – all of which took place between 2005 and 2008.