The Sunset Albufeira Sport & Health Resort project, an expansion at the Alfamar hotel site across 95 hectares of agricultural and ecological land, has been rejected by the evaluation Committee of the Algarve’s regional development commission – CCDR-A.
The environmental impact study covering this area of pine-clad clifftops and agricultural land between the beaches of Falésia and Rocha Baixinha in the municipality of Albufeira, was given an “unfavourable” opinion as “with the exception of the consolidated tourist areas of the Alfamar complex, the new projects are in conflict with the existing territorial management instruments and are irreparably disregarded by the public interest restrictions of the National Ecological Reserve and the National Agricultural Reserve.”
If the project went ahead, there would be “damage and loss of land in the Quarteira floodplain, a loss of agricultural potential, discontinuity of the floodplain and an increase in land consumption which is not comprehensible in a plan that originally was intended to be sustainable.”
As for the ‘s’ word, “this is a project that is sustainable at the concept level and for employment but unsustainable in terms of its location.”
This major U-turn by the normally pro-development CCDR-A will be welcomed by environmentalists, not least Almargem which was the only NGO to lodge an opinion on the mega-project during the public consultation period.
The CCRD-A’s evaluation committee commented that, “the project, for all its technical merit, can not be compatible with the area’s land use model as it reduces and permanently changes the present ecosystems, makes the landscape increasingly artificial and removes the original identity of this promontory between the meadow and the sea.”
In August this year, we reported that the developers,