Court halts housing project inside natural reserve
The Supreme Court has put a freeze on a project to build a large housing development inside the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park, in Almería.6 February 2008
MADRID - The Supreme Court has put a freeze on a project to build a large housing development inside the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park, in Almería.
The decision partly overrules an earlier decision by the Andalusian Superior Court of Justice, which gave the green light to the Marinas de Aguamarga project despite an unfavourable environmental report released by the regional government.
Yesterday's ruling was described by regional environmental chief Fuensanta Coves as "a major legal victory" after 10 years of litigation aimed at stopping the construction of 350 new homes and a hotel with room for 300 guests in an area inhabited by just 200 people that is catalogued as a biosphere reserve and is located inside the natural park.
The move comes as the regional government approved new plans conferring greater legal protection to the land where Marinas de Aguamarga was set to go up. Another nearby development, La Fabriquilla, can still go ahead, but the new regulations also confirm that a controversial hotel partly built in Cabo de Gata, the Algarrobico, will have to be torn down and the area returned to its natural state.
[Copyright EL PAÍS 2008]
Subject: Spanish news