Construction threatens ancient Roman ruins

LAST UPDATED: 28 Oct, 2010 @ 18:04
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PLANS to build 170 houses and a hotel close to the ruins of a second century Roman settlement have been slammed by environmental groups.

Prado del Rey town hall amended its PGOU urban expansion plan to allow for construction on 58 hectares of land in Los Alcornocales Natural Park in the Cádiz province. Forty four existing illegal homes in the park, mainly built during the 1970s, are also set to be legitimized under the plan.

Although the project has yet to be cleared by the Junta de Andalucía regional government, environmental groups are pressuring officials not to green light the plans, which could see construction work metres from the ruins of the Roman settlement of Iptuci – an important second century fortress.

Juan Clavero of Ecologistas en Accion said: “This project is unsustainable. It is only explained by the construction boom that may have grave consequences on the future of the Sierra de Cadiz mountain range.

“We are appealing for the Junta de Andalucía to be coherent with their opposition to urban speculation and defence of sustainable development.”

The amendment also includes a provision for the construction of an 18-hole golf course and residential complex on the outskirts of the natural park. This has angered opponents, who claim Prado del Rey will be damaged by the impact of such a scheme.

“A golf course will cause irreversible damage to the whole area. It will need 500,000 cubic metres of water a year to maintain. Where will that come from?” asked Señor Clavero.

Prado del Rey mayor Fernando Pérez Castillo defended the change to the town’s PGOU, which he oversaw in July 2006. He claims urban expansion is vital for the town’s future.

“Like in other towns and villages in the area, both growth and diversity are necessary to guarantee local prosperity,” he said.

He also said the proposed golf course would use recycled water from a sewage treatment plant that is currently being built.

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