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Portimão – three hotel project gets environmental red light

portimaocamaraA hugely controversial tourist development planned on the coast at João D’Arens, Portimão, has failed to obtain a positive Environmental Impact Assessment.

The construction of three hotels with more than 600 tourist beds, on the João D’Arens site between Tres Irmãos and Vau beaches, obtained an unfavourable Environmental Impact Statement as confirmed on Wednesday by the CCDR-Algarve.

According to the Coordination Committee, the evaluation was issued by the CCDR itself on May 3, after an unfavorable opinion from the Evaluation Committee responsible for the technical analysis of the study.
The Committee considered that, regardless of the measures proposed in the Environmental Impact Study, “the project does not meet the conditions to be made feasible, particularly with regard to factors such as biodiversity and landscape.”
The same document warns that “in addition to the destruction of almost three hectares of one of the most representative nuclei of the plant, ‘Linaria algarviana’, a species under threat and only found in the Barlavento region of the Algarve, and protected by Natura 2000, there are irreversible impacts on the scenic structure and quality of the landscape that could compromise the identity of one of the areas that preserves the original features of the regional coastal landscape.”
It was also taken into account that the planned urban-tourist occupation is framed by a territorial plan which, together with other similar instruments still in force, foresee a potential overall build for the coastal strip of the western coastline of the Algarve, in the order of 20,000 further tourist beds.

Astronow, MI Estoril Invest, Areia Feliz, Top Building and Prainha had entered into an agreement to develop the greenfield site and have yet to respond to the negative opinion issued by the CCDR-Algarve.

Portimão Council, in support of the project to the extent of blocking public access to the documentation during the consultancy phase, has yet to issue comment.